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Ladies and Gentlemen in Outer Space

Here is my philosophy:
Everything changes (the word "everything"
has just changed as the
word "change" has: it now
means "no change") so
quickly that it literally surpasses my belief,
charges right past it
like some of the giant
ideas in this area.
I had no beginning and I shall have
no end: the beam of light
stretches out before and behind
and I cook the vegetables
for a few minutes only,
the fewer the better. Butter
and serve. Here is my
philosophy: butter and serve.

—Ron Padgett

from New & Selected Poems, 1963 — 1992, 1995
David R. Godine, Publisher, Inc.

Copyright 2001 by Ron Padgett.
All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission of David R. Godine, Publisher, Inc. from New & Selected Poems, 1963 — 1992. Copyright 1995 by Ron Padgett. For further permissions information, contact David R. Godine, Publisher, Inc., 9 Hamilton Place, Boston, Massachusetts 02108, phone 617-451-9600, fax 617-350-0250.

Poetry 180

About the Poet

Ron Padgett (1942- ) is the author of over 20 poetry collections, including Alone and Not Alone (Coffee House Press, 2015).  A poet, editor, and translator, Padgett was born in Tulsa Oklahoma. As a high-school student he founded the avant-garde literary journal The White Dove Review with his friends and fellow students Joe Brainard and Dick Gallup.

Learn more about Ron Padgett at The Poetry Foundation.