Born Joseph Charles Kennedy in Dover, New Jersey, X.J. Kennedy is as well known for his light verse and children’s poetry as he is for his more serious works. His 1961 collection Nude Descending a Staircase won the Lamont Award, and in 2001 Kennedy was awarded the Aiken Taylor Award for lifetime achievement in poetry.
More By This Poet
Nude Descending a Staircase
Toe after toe, a snowing flesh,
a gold of lemon, root and rind,
she sifts in sunlight down the stairs
with nothing on. Nor on her mind.
We spy beneath the banister
a constant thresh of thigh on thigh;
her lips imprint the swinging air
For Allen Ginsberg
Ginsberg, Ginsberg, burning bright,
Taunter of the ultra right,
What blink of the Buddha’s eye
Chose the day for you to die?
Queer pied piper, howling wild,
Mantra-minded flower child,
Queen of Maytime, misrule’s lord
Bawling, Drop out! All aboard!
Finger-cymbaled, chanting Om,
Foe of fascist, bane of bomb,