My first poetry teacher talked of good poems as "tight snapping boxes." I fell into that easily (and with appreciation) being a lover of Wallace Stevens and James Wright. Now I'd like to come apart at the seams.

Three Sentences

Mercurial flash out the window,
The hose,
And the sedulous soil
That draws me into variegation,
But hesitant is my cold vigor
The flesh of daylight.

I move into the pitch blue
Ashen and blanched,
My arms drop,
I fold them and gaze to fit,
In this scenery, in imagined scenery, in
Everyplace of color, in late summer, in
Steel rain where oscillating lines cover
Water. . . windy bare snow
Gardens enter my memory.

Here the face is difficult to control
And drops
Through the
Dry, dried
Reptiles, cats and shoes,
After the thaw, in the Michigan
Woods, coming up the road


i know
everyday you have to go into it
no matter how you get
you have to go into
thin trees, Queen Anne's lace
and water snakes.
the light dry steps in the heat,
the worms
& fungus. . .


the sky designed itself
and chose to be naked.

awe burst the buttons
off my dress.

tornado rips neon
tomato from vine to air.

take this child
to be your child.

( what will be ruined?)


i is a serpent
laying eggs, fearing
trucks on dirt roads.


body's curves cool and persistent
flow through The Great Animals and are
torn at the edge.
moves toward the image: a
distinct kiss and a swallow.

the wooden man comes up
the roadin the Michigan evening

as i lay thinking
of sleeping
grey of winter lakes
in my bedside glass.

Ann Gleeson writes, reads, swims, manages The American Poetry Archive and lectures in creative writing at Galileo High in San Francisco. She lives in Corte Madera with Bassett and her two children, Jack and Roxanne.

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