Thumbtacks, Glass, Pennies

By Robert Waugh

Subjects: Poetry
Imprint: Distribution Partners
Paperback : 9781930337428, 64 pages, August 2010

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Table of contents

Part I

Pine Island
The Lights Mark the Darkness
Potter’s Tree
A Rembrandt Landscape in a Mirror
Japanese Coasters

Part I I

Thumbtacks, Glass, Pennies
Whistling the Birds
Picking up Shells
A Cafe in Amsterdam, in America Ashes
My Sixtieth Birthday (For Carolyn)
Trailing Vuillard in Montreal
To My Familiars in Alexandria

Part I I I

Sleet on the Windshield
Theology on the Wing
Pelicans by the Number
The Osprey Song
The Keys

Part IV

Ford Theater
The Bodies of This Century
Oklahoma City
Variations on the Besetzungen of Anselm Kiefer
Scenes in the Towers
Storm Dance
Time Out

Part V

The Outlook from Les Beaux
The Picnic
The Crypt in Saintes Maries de la Mer
On the Veranda
The Courtyard
A Veteran in France
The Maison Carré in Nîmes (For Fiona)
La Fontaine de Vaucluse


I pick up thumb-tacks in the street
and put them in my pocket. Some I use
to stick up times on the corkboard, some I put
back in the desk. Once a tack stuck
straight through the ball of my foot as I ran straight
on it, the ball of the foot came down, the heel
lifted off pushing the ball of the foot down
full on the tack. Running off I stepped off
pulling off blind--leg, hip, spine,
neck and tongue like a crack of lightning. If you want
to keep time straight, you pick up tacks
and put them in your pocket.

—from "Thumbtacks, Glass, Pennies"