within the circles cummings traveled
pious thoughts all came unraveled
while others raved at capitalist tools
he saved his rage for majuscules
I heard a fly buzz when I died—
It broke the peace and hurt my pride.
The hateful seamstress—Refuse to tip her!—
Left me—with a noisy zipper.
Steven G. Kellman is a professor of comparative literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio. His books include Redemption: The Life of Henry Roth (Norton, 2005), The Translingual Imagination (Nebraska, 2000), Loving Reading: Erotics of the Text (Archon, 1985), and The Self-Begetting Novel (Columbia, 1980). He serves on the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle and received the NBCC’s 2006 Nona Balakian Award for Excellence in Reviewing.