Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
  • Home
  • About
  • Archive
  • Bio Notes
  • Bookshelf
  • Contents
  • Submit
SHJ Issue 10
Fall 2014

A Poet Changes Form

by Naomi Ruth Lowinsky

Direct me gods, whose changes are all holy
To where it flickers deep in grass, the moly
—Thom Gunn


Why haunt me now? It’s been a decade
since your final ride     on the horned god       
Been half a century since our lives touched     
briefly     You a master of British form
going to seed in America    Me     newly wed

lost to my own thread     
If I could go back     find your craggy face 
at some poetry reading     find my tongue     I’d say Thom Gunn
You were my professor     back in the day 
You couldn’t have known how morning sick 

I was      & how forlorn     But when you praised 
my essay     on Mother Courage     sun sang
my name     earth gathered my feet 
Let’s be real     You’d have been 
embarrassed     by such a blast of feeling on a face 

you don’t quite     recognize     You’d have no patience     
nor I the courage     for the real story     You     
the prince of iambic pentameter     in biker boots     
a far cry from my free-verse lineage     or so 
I thought      until I read your “Duncan” 
I never knew how well you knew my Merlin 
of the deep woods     never knew that you 
and I     are creature kin     Holy Moly Thom
we dropped acid    in the same years
saw the flow of “woods inside the wood”

on opposite sides of the same bay
your “horns bud bright”     your feet turn hoof
as I lumber     down Euclid Avenue    laughing 
to see my hands becoming      bear paws     Ah Thom 
you’ve changed form again     since I’ve meandered	

your Shelf Life     you stride across America 
in biker boots    ghost tripping     
apple seeding in the wake of   
Whitman   Williams   Duncan   Ginsberg
our “one all-river”     The truth is    I find it easier 

talking to ghosts    & I am gathering my own
changed form     under your influence 



SHJ Issue 10
Fall 2014

Naomi Ruth Lowinsky’s

poems have been widely published, most recently in Ginosko, Stickman Review, Minetta Review, Prick of the Spindle, Sanskit, Whistling Shade, Stand, Spillway, New Millennium Writings, and many others. Her fourth poetry collection, The Faust Woman Poems, traces one woman’s Faustian adventures during the 1960s and ’70s, through Women’s Liberation and the return of the Goddess. Her memoir, The Sister from Below: When the Muse Gets Her Way, tells stories about her pushy muse.

Lowinsky is a Jungian Analyst, and the co-editor, with Patricia Damery, of the essay collection Marked by Fire: Stories of the Jungian Way. She lectures and gives writing workshops in many settings, and blogs about poetry and life at:

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury