Barry Spacks

What is a Poet?

A poet is a pig for endorphins.
The beautiful world murmurs,
“Do me some jazzy, Dollink,
whisper my name.”


Poets are mainly reminders:
kin, in that way, to bears, orchids,
to kindly deeds, obsessive loves...
worlds emergent from rumors—TA-DA!


Muse, sweetheart, help me to speak
the winter-bowed sapling, the check-out girl’s
monitored pain, the mountains in sunlight,
the mountain-top-moments of exaltation.

Interlocked Dreams, More or Less Incomprehensible

In this dream where I’m teaching, only three kids
show up, so I wing it, waiting for others
who fail to appear, maybe my students
have slipped into another teacher’s
dream. “What’s with you strangers here?”
“Why, normally we’re with Barry Spacks,
that gonzo-professor-ephemeralist.”
“So why loiter here with us in my course
on cyber-heuristic flux? Never mind,
too late to send you back to Spacks,
just settle down—no seats? Sorry.
Squat, or stand, or lean on the walls.”

Author Portrait

Known mainly as a poet/teacher, Barry Spacks has released three poetry-reading CDs and eleven poetry collections, while teaching literature and writing at M.I.T. & UC Santa Barbara. Over the years his poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review, and hundreds of other journals. His latest book of poems, a collaboration with lawyer/poet Lawrence Leone, is titled A Bounty of 84s (Cherry Grove, 2012). The 84 is a stanza limited exactly to 84 characters. This refers to the belief that the Buddha left us 84,000 different teachings on human need.

View the website of Barry Spacks