Weldon Kees Poems

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Weldon Kees
Harry Weldon Kees (February 24, 1914- presumed dead July 18, 1955) was an American poet, critic, novelist and short story writer. Kees was born in Beatrice, Nebraska and educated at Doane College, the University of Missouri and the University of Nebraska, graduating in 1935. His first book of poems The Last Man (1943) was a hit. He moved to New York City and began attending parties with literary critics like Edmund Wilson and Lionel Trilling, but he never felt comfortable in that society. Then he began to paint, and some of his works hung alongside Picasso in an exhibition at the Whitney. Tired of New York, he moved to San Francisco in 1950, where he began making experimental films, writing the music for short films made by other filmmakers, and got involved with the Beat scene. On July 19, 1955, Kees's Plymouth Savoy was found on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge with the keys in the ignition. When his friends went to search his apartment, all they found were the cat he had named Lonesome and a pair of red socks in the sink. His sleeping bag and savings account book were missing. He left no note. No one is sure if Weldon Kees jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge that day or if he went to Mexico. Before he disappeared, Kees quoted Rilke to friend Michael Grieg, ominously saying that sometimes a person needs to change his life completely.

covering two years
This nothingness that feeds upon itself:
Pencils that turn to water in the hand,
Parts of ... [read poem]
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