Best Book of 1996: The Lost Lunar Baedeker
‘Mina Loy has been a preferred voice in my head, echoing with a signature delirious chant as a kind of primordial poetry mother.’
The Blue Clerk
‘Now you are sounding like me, the clerk says. I am you, the author says.’
After Ann Lauterbach
‘The piano eyes me / from its corner – / colluding with the past’
Assuming the Habits of the Day and Night
‘my every day is a being in of being / a mixity of worlds’
The Republic of Motherhood
‘a cardigan / soft as a creature, smelling of birth and milk’ – New poetry from Liz Berry.
‘I haven’t learned very much in my life, I’ve just become a more / Choreographed disaster’
A Pinch of Salt
‘When we’re close to weaning / ourselves history gives us its reasons / to return’
Fourth Person Singular
‘The wet in the air is like signal anxiety: life is about to / change.’
The Remains of the Day
‘I am lying in the foetal position on a beach in the east of England.’
‘it’s philosophy / coming from everyone at once // like a ballgown worn by the sky’
Portrayal: A Double Portrait
‘You can’t control your face / The Empire has over-reached / Expressions // Have become flags’
‘Fingers twirl / composite stems whose colour / twist rock-candies, snake-ladders / precious yellow, less-rare green.’
‘Music needs silence / more than silence needs music.’ New poetry by Rae Armantrout.
‘how can all the pressures of surveillance / fail to describe me?’
Inside the house
‘the bell / was ringing from the chapel, they were there / expecting her.’
Drama Lessons for Young Girls
‘So the young girls, / cast as naughty young girls from the Acropolis, / left – / just with some things missing.’
‘Your dad told me to tell you / how good you look to him right now.’ Rae Armantrout revisits Shakespeare’s sonnet 3.
Reception and Openings
‘Because children suspect that objects conceal their powers and intentions, animators make an alarm clock run, screaming, in circles.’
New Tarzon Guided Bomb Hits Bull’s-Eye!
‘Watch this performance carefully, for you are witnessing a new concept of modern warfare.’
The Emotional Life of Plants
An exciton consists / of the escaped negative / (electron) / and the positive hole / it left behind.
A Numbered Graph That Shows How Each Part of the Body Would Fit Into A Chair
‘It’s a simple truth that one can occupy two / places at one time while sitting in a chair—the same way a / poseable doll can be divided from her dress.’
Rain at Three
‘Rain at three splits the bed in half, / cracks at windows like horsemen blistering / through a century of hibernation.’
‘an orange plastic basket of compost / down from the top of the garden – sweet dark, / fibrous rot, promising’
‘Me always untorn and enslaved / Weird notions of gender and ground / Nothing but you between me and god.’