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The Yawn

The black-haired girl
with the big
                     brown
                                eyes
on the Queens train coming
                     in to work, so
opens her mouth so beautifully
                     wide
                                in a ya-aawn, that
two stops after she has left the train
I have only to think of her          and I
                                                         o-oh-aaaww-hm
                                                                 wow !

—Paul Blackburn

from The Cities (Collected Poems), 1985
Persea Books, New York, NY

Copyright 1985 by Paul Blackburn.
All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission of Persea Books from The Cities (Collected Poems). Copyright 1985 by Paul Blackburn. For further permissions information, contact Persea Books, Inc., 853 Broadway, New York, NY 10003.

Poetry 180

About the Poet

Paul Blackburn (1926-1971) is best known as a Black Mountain Poet because of his role as contributing editor and distributor of the Black Mountain Review. Blackburn is the author of thirteen poetry collections as well as twelve other collections that were published posthumously, including The Selected Poems of Paul Blackburn (Persea Books, 1989).

Learn more about Paul Blackburn at The Poetry Foundation.