Portrayal: A Double Portrait
‘You can’t control your face / The Empire has over-reached / Expressions // Have become flags’
'the trees / are slender in the way that things / are almost, though not quite / absent'
Rain at Three
‘Rain at three splits the bed in half, / cracks at windows like horsemen blistering / through a century of hibernation.’
Reception and Openings
‘Because children suspect that objects conceal their powers and intentions, animators make an alarm clock run, screaming, in circles.’
Reflections on shame in sacred spaces
‘At sunset the light is both nasty and nice / in my robe.’
‘I haven’t learned very much in my life, I’ve just become a more / Choreographed disaster’
Self-Portrait as Amnesiac
‘Shoeboxes lined with eggs and empty / pomegranates drying in a bowl, / mousebones and wicker, chess pieces, muddled coats.’
‘Your dad told me to tell you / how good you look to him right now.’ Rae Armantrout revisits Shakespeare’s sonnet 3.
The Blue Clerk
‘Now you are sounding like me, the clerk says. I am you, the author says.’
The Day Etta Died
‘I was marking a stack of essays / on Frank O’Hara / and each had a Wiki- / paragraph to say / who Genet was.’
The Emotional Life of Plants
An exciton consists / of the escaped negative / (electron) / and the positive hole / it left behind.
The Lady and the Skull
‘In just such an emblematic a fashion / The world takes on / Human form.’
The Making of the English Landscape
It’s too late now to start collecting football shirts,/bringing them back from trips abroad as souvenirs:
The More We Think About It
‘Yeah, something has slapped us. / We have definitely seen something.’
The Old Fuel
‘And I'm / cranking out oodles of love the way an old spaghetti machine / cranks out spaghetti.’
The Remains of the Day
‘I am lying in the foetal position on a beach in the east of England.’
The Republic of Motherhood
‘a cardigan / soft as a creature, smelling of birth and milk’ – New poetry from Liz Berry.
‘What would I give / to be one of those swimmers in all this snow, / swallowed by the cold and the night’s strange radiance?’
‘Music needs silence / more than silence needs music.’ New poetry by Rae Armantrout.
Turn the River
‘Backtrack / to the bones of the matter, which are the bones themselves.’
‘And so, last night, so cold, I listened to / the floorboards warp in the unwelcome heat.’
‘To be honest, this is dark stuff; mud, tang / of bitter battery-tasting honey. The woods are in it.’
‘Sometimes I am so afraid my envy / will hack at your figs, strawberries, / or full-bellied beans, I dig my fists / into my pockets and nip myself.’
‘Wanting to get it all in, like / Xerxes tipping his army’s arrows / with saltpeter / so to ignite the Grecian sky.’
‘Her mother planted a garden in Manhattan. / In that garden is a tree. Some look on it and feel restored. / Others, when the wind lifts its leaves, want to scream.’