Creeley as Therapy

By Ed Sanders

He ran an ad in

the health section

of the local weekly

“Cure Mental Crises with Creeley.”

And you know 12 people

paid $175 for an 8-week workshop!

Enough to put in a new shower stall!

He sat them at ease

in a circle of chairs

each of them holding

The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley 1975-2005

and then they opened it up at random

read aloud

& discussed

the curative feel

of the words

as they would relate

to the reader’s particular crisis.

It worked!

Smiles cracked the circle

& sometimes tears!

They begged him to hold another one

especially as the calendar

tugged toward

blue Christmas

ED SANDERS will read/perform his “Salute to Spain Rodriguez” and other works at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Ave., in conjunction with the culmination of “Spain: Rock, Roll, Rumbles, Rebels & Revolution,” the retrospective exhibit of the Buffalo-born underground comic book artist Manuel “Spain” Rodriguez. Sanders was co-founder of the legendary 1960s folk-satire group, The Fugs; author of “The Family” (1971), a profile of the events leading up to the Tate-LaBianca murders; founder of the Investigative Poetry movement, and publisher of the Woodstock Journal, in which this poem about the late Robert Creeley, co-founder of the UB Poetics Program, originally appeared.