By Elizabeth Willis
Handle attracts us into obvious and invisible architectures, into acts of intimate and public handle. those poems are targeted, polyvocal, and sharply aware of acts of illustration; they take for my part their politics and within the method demonstrate anything concerning the method civic constructions inhabit the mind's eye. toxic crops, witches, anthems, bees?beneath their floor, we glimpse the fragility of our founding, republican aspirations and witness a disintegrating panorama artfully reworked. If a poem can function a type of astrolabe, measuring distances either cosmic and instant, temporal and actual, it does so by way of innovative, nonlinear potential. the following, earlier and current interact in acts of mutual interrogation and critique, and inside of this dynamic Willis's poetry is right away complexly authoritative and looking out: "so starts off our legislation."
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Extra info for Address (Wesleyan Poetry Series)
A sinking robot? Pershing in France? Hearing my name in it as Alice loved the hand that pushed her down the hole just that much The forest-broker’s dream: a hell-shook bell Her piece of rock: a gloss upon the dailies Welcome to the game, little duck All you have to do is dash to the other side 24 ) ) ) th e oldest garden in the world Something drives out from the fate I was hungry for A body that fulfills its face carries into day what fades behind it In Natural History Sophocles loved Asphodel, but Asphodel loved William Carlos Williams as hyacinth loved France, and honey loves a toothache Is that a crime or just a form of currency like big tobacco moving on with shady radar over our greenery?
36 ) ) ) When Florida says no to drilling, it’s not because we don’t like oil, it’s just our way of sending a message from my gulf to yours. You’d better think twice before you write this down because I’ve got friends who’ve got friends in the irs and aviation who know how to read. You’d better decide that we’ve never had sex that the mic didn’t work that you got it all wrong that I only resemble the fox you describe that all of us were acting the only way we knew how. ( ( ( 37 year-end review Here follows an addled replica What follows here is almost the real thing What you are being exposed to is a polished version of a once intractable experiment Here follows an almost urgent reply This is a picture of a man who read a book This is his hand pulling the heart out of a living poem Here is a pink ruffle emerging from landfill at the edge of an unaffordable city This is the town that could not afford to resist the cement plant This is the face of a woman unable to look you in the eye Here is the mouth of the boy who died in dynastic battle Here lies the horse you rode in on The grill is about to be lit beneath your expensive silicon brain Oh the lies of ordinary people jumping rope beneath the trees in a dream of gratitude 38 ) ) ) Here are the undeliverable sanctions that would have failed anyway What follows is the future still available in black lowered from a great height ( ( ( 39 january My office alerts me I have only so much time Prosperity is just around that hairpin turn In this way the poem lays its hand against your head Its words are using you to power-down the view Thinking like a cloth means taking on a darker black I’m that thirsty in the middle of the day This bent hour finds its way into your hand Like a cane or a whip like a feather or a pen It only exists in one place at a time 40 ) ) ) blasted hymn Morning swings its wave above your head A proper undertow of history and ahistory, the bank with its barricade of brass Winterkill against the outweighed garden A vase obstructing your pictorial turn It’s coming on like a cold It’s filling your sails with a future-scented wind Heaven help you keep its secrets You who placed your trust like a pearl into this dirty shell The force of habit takes you on like a chair you think you’ll paint or lean on ( ( ( 41 may day for Robert Creeley I too lived in Arcadia in a house made of straw a gutter world of kindness The poet’s secret is nothing to lose How fierce the life projects into a line or is it the other way rain falling upward?
I have heard of a poor woman changing herself into a pigeon. At times a witch will seem to struggle against an unknown force stronger than herself. She will know things she has not seen with her eyes. She will have opinions about distant cities. A witch may cry out sharply at the sight of a known criminal dying of thirst. ( ( ( 21 She finds it difficult to overcome the sadness of the last war. A nightmare is witchwork. ” When a witch desires something that is not hers, she will slip it into her glove.