Philip Dacey


New York Postcard Sonnet #77

Out on the street, I grab snippets of talk.
“Okay, guys, go over there and work this out.”
“You can only follow Bach with Bach.”
“We’re training her to be gentle and not bite.”

“Oh, Honey, it’s just not going to happen.” “It was
the smallest bathroom I was ever in.”
“In my country we eat all kinds of idiocies.”
“Oxygen is the enemy of wine.”

“Don’t expect a government agency
to tell you everything you need to know.”
“Her nails are freaking me out.” “If it was funny
I’d be laughing.” “Yeah, you countrified now.”

“Blah, blah-blah, blah-blah, he went on and on.”
“No, we’re not buying peppers ever again.”


Philip Dacey is the author of 12 books of poetry, most recently Gimme Five (Blue Light Press, 2013), Mosquito Operas: New and Selected Short Poems (Rain Mountain Press, 2010), and Vertebrae Rosaries: 50 Sonnets (Red Dragonfly Press, 2009). The winner of three Pushcart Prizes, he has written entire collections about Gerard Manley Hopkins, Thomas Eakins, and New York City. His other awards include a Discovery Award from  the New York YM-YWHA’s Poetry Center and various fellowships (a Fulbright to Yugoslavia, a Woodrow Wilson to Stanford, and two in creative writing from the National Endowment for the Arts). His work has appeared in such leading periodicals asThe Nation, Hudson Review, Poetry, The Southern Review, The Paris Review, Partisan Review, The New York Times, American Poetry Review, and The Hopkins Review. With David Jauss, he co-edited Strong Measures: Contemporary American Poetry in Traditional Forms (Harper & Row, 1986).  After an eight-year post-retirement adventure on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, he returned in 2012 to Minnesota, where he taught for 35 years, to live in Minneapolis in the Lake District with his partner, Alixa Doom.