Buffalo.--WHEN I GOT out of the car a blade of frigid wind whipped my face with the fury of a pack of wolves starving in the snowy deeps of Siberia. ''I can't believe you people live here!'' I howled contra-venti at my friend Deborah Ott who was flattened by the gale against a wall of the University of Buffalo. ''It's nothing.'' she said, ''Wait till next month!''
Luckily, I wasn't going to. I was going back next day to my scented bower of camellias, azaleas, wisteria, magnolia and birds where winter is only a dream, and our only fear is not finding a table at our favorite outdoor cafe. Nonetheless, in spite of or maybe because of the weather, Buffalo is a city full of poets.
Here at the university they have a chair for Robert Creeley, the man who recently wrote: ''The world is a round but/diminishing ball, a spherical/ice cube . . . '' And here was where the giant, Maximus, AKA Charles Olson, spent many years writing and talking up a snowstorm. In the cooled inner recesses of the Buffalo Poetry Collection, Robert Berthoff, the librarian, shows me the original notebook that became ''Ulysses'' by James Joyce, and the typewritten and crumbling manuscript of William Carlos Williams' ''Farmers' Daughters.''