Winter morning, early


20 February 2007, 0.08 CET

“Wintry Mix”

The 6 a.m. January
encaustic clouds
are built
in a waxy gray putty
whizzing by with spots
of luminous-silvery
crack-o’-the-world feeling
yet reassuring
like an old movie.
Do I really have to go out there?
Now a hint of muted
salmon tones breaking
a warming band
of welcoming pinkish light.
Is it like this every morning?
My head still in the dark.
Worry, eck! But the brightening
russet-tipped cloud ballet
reminds me of something
in Pliny, yea, Pliny.
Can’t imagine opening
the door today in a toga.
Work and more,
yes, work
sends us into the draft.

—Peter Gizzi
Published in the London Review of Books, 25 January 2007, p. 23.

Peter Gizzi used to teach at UC Santa Cruz, and I heard him read once and would see him infrequently around campus. This is the first poem I’ve read of his though that I’ve rather liked. He gives entertaining readings of his work: he likes the rhythm and sounds of his words, and he smiles, and rolls and bobs his head to the cadence of his poems.