SATURDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: CHARLES BERNSTEIN




ALL THE WHISKEY IN HEAVEN
by Charles Bernstein

Not for all the whiskey in heaven
Not for all the flies in Vermont
Not for all the tears in the basement
Not for a million trips to Mars

Not if you paid me in diamonds
Not if you paid me in pearls
Not if you gave me your pinky ring
Not if you gave me your curls

Not for all the fire in hell
Not for all the blue in the sky
Not for an empire of my own
Not even for peace of mind

No, never, I’ll never stop loving you
Not till my heart beats its last
And even then in my words and my songs
I will love you all over again

From All the Whiskey in Heaven by Charles Bernstein. Copyright © 2010 by Charles Bernstein.

Charles Bernstein is an American poet, essayist, writer, and editor who has authored over 40 books. His works, accomplishments, and accolades are too numerous to note here. For a thorough look at Charles Bernstein check out the Electronic Poetry Center.

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is dedicated to Nathan W.

Recently a dear friend and faithful reader of this series took me for my inaugural visit to Green Apple Books in the Richmond District of San Francisco. Holed up in the poetry section I came across a copy of All the Whiskey in Heaven, a book named for a poem of the same name. Nathan W. had chosen this poem for me about two years ago when it appeared in The Nation, and it has been a part of the map of my heart ever since.

Today’s poem will always remind me that no matter how fleeting, no matter how much lost or gained, it is a blessing to be loved.

Want to read more by and about Charles Bernstein?
Poets.org
The Poetry Foundation
Electronic Poetry Center

About Sivan Butler-Rotholz

Sivan is the Contributing Editor of the Saturday Poetry Series on As It Ought To Be and holds an MFA from Brooklyn College. She is a professor, writer, editor, comic artist, and attorney emerita. She is also the founder of Reviving Herstory. Sivan welcomes feedback, poetry submissions, and solicitations of her writing via email at sivan.sf [at] gmail [dot] com.
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4 Responses to SATURDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: CHARLES BERNSTEIN

  1. oklaelliott says:

    Nice poem, and wonderful story about how you discovered it!

  2. Lezlie says:

    You’re all love Sivan! Good pick.

  3. Nate says:

    I still love it. Thought of you the moment I read it. Thanks for posting it.

  4. chuck and nancy wisman says:

    We both thought this poem was very meaningful. I plan to peruse his other works. Good luck in New York!

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