Featured Poem: “A Man’s Little Heart’s Short Fever Fit” by Thomas Lux

by Megan Sexton  ·  October 10, 2013

It’s been a while since we’ve had a featured poem on our blog, so what better time than today, with the release our newest issue right around the corner? Today’s featured poem is from Five Points Vol. 15, No. 1&2, “A Man’s Little Heart’s Short Fever Fit” by Thomas Lux.

Poor as a dog. Poor as owl scat tufted

with mouse fur and a chipmunk’s hip

bone. Poor as a louse without a valise.

He liked the deepest caves,

the getting to the bottom of them

(the deepest, about 7 mi. down, ending

in not so square three yards of packed sand)

and he liked better: climbing out.

It was harder climbing out: up, up, up,

poor as a used toothpick,

poor as a man evicted from the poorhouse,

poor as a hole drilled in dust.

Did I say he liked the deepest caves?

Small caves breathe, middle caves sing,

the deepest caves roar.

He liked the deepest caves.

Did I say he loved the abseiling, abseiling down,

and the inch-by-inch rock-climber’s winch

up, up to the cave’s agape mouth?

Did I say what, and those, he loved, (and he did love what and those)

even as I knew he made a failure of it?


Image Thomas Lux’s most recent book of poetry is Child Made of Sand (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012). His book of nonfiction From the Southland was also published in 2012 by Marick Press.