Monday, May 18, 2015

ELIZABETH WILLIS ~








Elizabeth Willis
photo by Juliette Valery




Elegy




The day I drove


in a driving rain
from realism to impressionism


a moving hillside fooled the town


What does it take
to make a happy ant?


a dropped lozenge
on the damp step


bumping into a friend
in the daily grind


avoiding death


Still you slip away
in a desert hospital


and cannot see to see


Hawthorne's hand
against your hair


the stumbling blue
of windowed air







Autographeme


A thought on the lip
of little sand island


An easy messenger
who forgot where to go


I came to laugh
in a dirty garden


A thwarted paulselessness
considering pearls


I was fluent in salamander


Everything wrote itself onto skin
with a tangled blowing


An opal eye looking down
on an errant package


A sky wrung of tint


What is the meaning
of this minor error?


The reflecting pool
no one could read


A beach fire snagged me
with its bright emergent eye


My colony sought revolt
in every yard


The present was a relic
of a past I was older than


Taking its language, I became an abridgement
of whatever I contained


A social imperative of silky fears


I wanted air
I wanted the balloon


Darkness flaked down like bottle glass
invented by a poor oily sea


A house made of soup


Others formed an invisible order
felt in every part


The male of the species was
louder than the female


Females made the mush
a sound of offstage sweeping


Boys played a game of torment
and sleepy forgiveness


while girls read their books on the rocks
containers of a solar plot


Little bird, fox on a string


A caravan of foreign number
staging death


So?


A smudge against the smallest dress
buried creature, of sly erasures


in the storied night, long e
cricketing awake, asleep







IV ( a few stones for Lorine Niedecker)




This I is an idyll
I captured the first day


the office between
the leaf and the external


Landlord I said again


you can't move a river really


yet with no apparent music
my face would pass


________________________________



Elizabeth Willis
Alive
New and Selected Poems
New York Review of Books 2015




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