Ron Padgett

Winner of the William Carlos Williams Award in 2014

High Heels 


I have a vision
in my head of Cubism
and Constructivism
in all their artistic purity
joined with a decorative attractiveness
that exceeds deliciousness,
even more to be desired
than becoming a milkman
in a white suit and hat
delivering milk to the back door
of a white frame house
on a street lined with elms
and being invited inside
by the curvaceous, translucent lady
of the house, not once
but many times, too many times,
perhaps, for later her husband
will be coming home
with a sledgehammer in his hand,
the pink hand with light blue fingernails, oh
you have colored the wrong picture!
You were to put the pink and blue
on the beachball on the next page.


**

Reprinted from Collected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2013)

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Thomas Lux on Ron Padgett

Although it wasn't a requirement for this award, I can think of no other poet I've read over the past 40 years who embodies Williams's spirit and his great heart's aesthetic. Ron Padgett loves life so much, he finds the stuff of poetry everywhere. I mean everywhere. His most serious poems are playful, and his most playful poems are serious. He's mischievous! I wish there was a way to cash in on a bet posthumously, because I'm willing to put money on Padgett, in two or three generations (it takes that long) to be counted among the best poets of his generation, to be counted among the best American poets, period.

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