David Shapiro

Frog Dream in July for Lucio’s Brother
June 9, 2012 Shapiro David

Frog Dream in July for Lucio’s Brother


I am a frog; I can

only leap a little


My legs were burnt off

in a poisoned pond

My father was in the

Book of World Records for



My pond was full of drugs

and medicine


My sisters the tadpoles made

me wake and weep, they said


Start, and close your eyes, and

begin to sing


Then never stop singing

despite those

who hate your timbre

die singing


The newspaper says it’s a

bad sign, but I keep

my naivete


Only dancers have a harder life

and I am a dancer; I am a frog, and each thing in

my suitcase is a frog

David Shapiro wrote the first book on John Ashbery’s poetry, the first volume on Mondrian’s flower studies, the first on Jim Dine’s paintings, and the first monograph on Jasper Johns’s drawings. The recipient of numerous national and international awards, he  collaborated with John Hejduk on many operas, masques and books, and their Palach project was dedicated by President Havel at the  Castle in Prague. He has been much translated and appears in many anthologies here and abroad. His play with Stephen Paul Miller, Two Boys on a Bus, was performed at the Kitchen with music by Laurie Anderson and starred Taylor Mead. He collaborated extensively with Rudy Burckhardt on films and photographic pamphlets, and at 24 was the youngest poet ever to be nominated for the National Book Award. His ten books of poetry include Poems from DealA Man Holding an Acoustic PanelThe Page-turnerLatenessHouse (Blown Apart), Burning InteriorTo an IdeaAfter a Lost Original, and the recent Selected Poems.