Michael Burkard

Back to Brooklyn Bridge | Second Skin
September 12, 2014 Burkard Michael

Back to Brooklyn Bridge

after Glenn Gould


tears are intuition

unless war is ravaging your




Second Skin


Who is this poet

who bought John Hawkes’

SECOND SKIN for a course

in graduate school (years before

he had bought LIME

TWIG b/c of its title but

never got to first base:

not Hawkes’ fault, not

Howard Hawkes’ either)

– but only to give

away – to sell –

like is this poet

calling himself a fraud

among the stacks of one

of the few smokey -still-

smokey cafe bookstores in

the sleepy state of Amerika

with a k, pronounced

as fraud, freud,

quiet associative steps

on the merciful stair-­

well to conclusion.


Michael Burkard is the author of more than ten collections of poetry, most recently Envelope of Night (Selected and Uncollected Poems, 1966-1990), published by Nightboat Books in 2008.  In addition, hundreds of his poems have been published in such prominent little magazines as the American Poetry Review, which gave him the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Award in 1984, 1985, and 1999, and Ploughshares, which honored him with its Denise and Mel Cohen Award in 1986.  He received the Whiting Writers’ Award from the Whiting Foundation in 1988, and his poems have been included in four of the Best American Poetry anthologies (2000, 2001, 2004, and 2005) and he won a Pushcart Prize, in 1988.