Poetry | wisconsinacademy.org
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Poetry

There’s something to be saidabout standing on the center lineof a bustling four-lane road,cars skimming by in front and behind meas I watch my stainless steel thermosbumble along toward the opposite curb

There’s a truck double-parked in the only parking spot.The guy at the counter owns a construction business,

First, find the reliquary:Collect the bones of the mammoth,regurgitated onto the shoreby the agitate cycle of thawing permafrost,rinse clean by the frigid lake’s lapping,swelled in a jumble of reeds

A man on a bicycle.Does he strain into his vocal cordsbecause he is angry, wonderwhy he is riding on this trackgoing around in circlesas his life seems to veer offin jagged directions, no winding

First cited in the sixteenth century (specifically in a book called Dice-Play), the expression [brown study]—which describes a state of intense, sometimes melancholy reverie, really seems to have hit i

of the need for lyricwhispers and fingertipsbehind my earlike a distant melody

of dappled water that flowswhere tulips opentheir soft petals spreadinglike a morning yawn

At the birth of a third daughter, on the eve of world war,my grandfather refused to look at heror come in from the barn.In that old country, deepwithin my newborn mother,in my invisible ovary home,

        Tell me     Grandfatherdid you ever        try to scrub outyour dark                   Mediterranean  skin          your Camelsoriginal     Napolitano     tongue

My sister doesn’t do sad.She tried it on a few times,   different styles, different sizes—   nothing quite fit. Either too loudor too dark, too tight or too baggy, she’d say.

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Madison, Wisconsin 53726
Phone: 608.733.6633

 

James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
3rd Floor, Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608.733.6633 x25