Arizona Poetry Center; Writer in Residence; Steve Willey

Only Openings

CLOUDS

‘clouds, mist find solace in the canyons of the Santa Catalina Mountains’

from ‘The Place Where Clouds Are Formed’, in Where Clouds Are Formed, by Ofellia Zepeda (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2008),  p.5.

‘You want I’ll be irreproachably/ tender no man but a cloud/ in trousers’

from ‘A Cloud In Trousers’, in Electric Iron, by Vladimir Myakovsky, trans. Jack Hirschman and Victor Erlich (Maya: Berkley, 1971), np.

GARDENS

‘Deers / on the main road: display solutions beyond STAR FURNISHINGS and all wildness ROCKED in/ Styrene LADIES of Honour with some ground…’

punk faun, by Redell Olsen, (Oakland: Subpress, 2012), p.11.

‘By his own scythe, the mower mown’

‘Damon the Mower’, in ‘The Selected Poetry of Marvell’, by Andrew Marvell, (New York, Signet Classics, 1967), p.80.

‘Lightly you lope, pale deer, lifting / A story from pages of snow’

‘Of Mule and Deer’, in This Isa Nice Neighborhood, by Farid Matuk (Chicago: Letter Machine Editions, 2010), p.1.

SWANS

‘we are both swans in the same pond/ wrapping our long black necks around each other/ until it hurts.’

‘Magazine Stand’, in Fjords vol. 1, by Zachary Schomburg (Boston MA: Black Ocean, 2012),  p.12.

WORK

‘If my health benefits cost 316 each month, then is it a benefit?’

Labor, by Jill Magi (Brookly & Callicoon New York: Nightboat Books, 2014), p.16.

‘there was reporters trying to get a shot of the bodies’

Coal Mountain Elementary, by Mark Nowak (Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2009), p.159.

ELEGIES

My shoulder playful and turned away toward the lake/ between your knees’

a, by Sophie Robinson (Los Angeles: Les Figues Press, 2009), p.7.

‘Every angel terrifies’

Dunio Elegies, by Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. Gary Miranda (Portland, Tavern Books, 2013), p.11.

‘As I went down to the Rotton Lake I remembered’

Elegies, by Muriel Rukeyser, (New York: New Directions, 2013), p.5.

FAILURES

I cannot/ reconcile my/ concept of/ personal/ dignity/ with the/ fact that/ mr/ [blair]/ posseses/ the power/ to/ determine/ my/ life and death

poisons, their antidotes, by Sean Bonney (Sheffield: West House Books, 2003), n.p. Bonney’s more recent books are also highly recommended

‘Then she breathed into/ a felt sense of screaming burn it, burn it, burn it…’

An Army of Lovers, by Juliana Spahr and David Buuck (San Francisico City Lights Books: 2013), p. 50.

SCIENCE

‘This gravitational song meted against displacement’

From ‘Around the World’, in Gravity, by Allen Fisher (Cambridge: Salt, 2004), p.15

MAGIC

‘The magic words are: Up against the wall mother/ fucker this is a stick up!’

From ‘Black People’ in Selected Poetry of Amiri Baraka (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1979), p. 137.

 
 
In August 2014 I was the Summer Resident at the Arizona Poetry Center. As part of the residency I was asked to select  some of my favourite books from the library for a display, and I made the list you’ve just read. I also wrote a new section of my poem Living In while in Tucson.

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