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By Willis, Elizabeth

Deal with attracts us into seen and invisible architectures, into acts of intimate and public handle. those poems are targeted, polyvocal, and sharply aware of acts of illustration; they take in my opinion their politics and within the method demonstrate whatever in regards to the approach 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 fast, temporal and actual, it does so by means of creative, nonlinear capability. the following, previous and current interact in acts of mutual interrogation and critique, and inside of this dynamic Willis’s poetry is immediately complexly authoritative and looking: “so starts off our legislation.”

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A cenotaph (for Etienne) Another winter palace in a box Hostile bamboo takes over the garden Fortune is the heaviest load In just a season or in plastics you struggle briefly Perhaps I mean revolution A piano set like an envelope against the Alps as if madness had ever been ( ( ( 45 “put to good uses” Even a “war study” becomes a corporate image with nothing to do A “song of troubled nights” Naturally a sidewalk knocks back your radiance In this location a walking party becomes a political party when newly in love with the ground Naturally not everyone understands 46 ) ) ) sonnet My lover’s eyes are nothing like the last of England or the first of France An amber leaf: the loved exists outside comparison and at the center of it all, semi-colon pause To be in its light and to love its sudden light One ghost may save you from another ( ( ( 47 extended fo recast If lace in the machine then air in the head of a lilac The face up close is up against the minted wind Overseen like labor overlooked like a valley 48 ) ) ) a species is an idea (2) The vine is just a vine a substitute for nothing: little mitten bellwether friend Or you, my landscape a sensory derangement next to Ireland’s forgeries the dream of her gigantic ear on the poem’s longest coastline The poem that is America America a prophecy like reason in atomic winter We think its magic wheel is but a dress that calls this city home Unpeopled, architectural ( ( ( 49 triptik I’m browsing through this crop circle with Rousseau in the woods A confounded geography of accidental history Little leaf in the scrub scrubbed away by the current Green against the glass and grass against the silver A hair falls to the boat launch like good money after bad You look for the beginning of the poem between the moving x’s of the bridge 50 ) ) ) Wherefore my masterwork of plated opulence The constant flowering of our downward mobility This is the I I’ve learned to speak to way, way out there in the luggage and cabbage A tripwire on the field of Great Ideas: stone from a mountain box without glue ingenious bobbin into dawn The machine day assists you with its simple fittings To drive so as not to touch the world To oversee and not to hear its irregular sob ( ( ( 51 Choosing to be looking so as not to be buying This errand won’t deliver you as you break apart the flower To rise to this To speak its fury 52 ) ) ) classified Will trade fountain pen for outboard motor a trembling nightfall for government bonds Will trade this grievance for a moment of silence that wooded tavern for my aimless youth Will trade potable water for loyal army Fabergé egg for interpretation of dreams Will trade heirloom lilacs for three cords of wood Will trade this meadow for a person-sized piece of shade Will trade fluttering leaf for a career in baseball Will trade class warfare for a place to lay my head Will trade a life of crime for a month in the country a decorative pear for a clean, dry pillow a wheelbarrow for an end to all that ( ( ( 53 incidental kno wledge Coffee won’t make you clairvoyant just a little shaky You step into doubt like the baking of biscuits It’s something to do with your mourning I feel my cheek against the bone A chance interruption of knowing and feeling The breath between the lines is obvious but overlooked A poem ends when the sound of it is finished Let me show you this floor swept clean No strings, no reconstituted lights 54 ) ) ) A brick is not a peach Getting isn’t making A color is not a weapon or an archive of the moon This is the ledge I live on Here’s my cave and broom ( ( ( 55 blackli st Sarah Wilds, Deliverance Hobbs, and Dorcas Hoar were witches.

Though educated in Switzerland I have no understanding whatsoever of clouds or of cloud-painting. Meteorology means observing the natural advantages of sunlight ( ( ( 33 between the elevator and the congressional Hummer. I prefer to be shot from the lower right when speaking to a male interlocutor. I prefer to be considered a serious fox by those who can ignore my network affiliations. Sooner or later I’ll be sliding to the other side. I’ll be in the Senate like a tongue in a bottle. I have never attempted to take responsibility for the space shuttle’s successful lunch, though I am a firm advocate of low-carb monosyllabic government and have committed adultery with unemployment figures and have enjoyed a pun or two of my own.

An executioner may find the body of a witch insensitive to an iron spike. An unrepentant witch may be converted with a little lead in the eye. Enchanting witchpowder may be hidden in a girl’s hair. When a witch is hungry, she can make a soup by stirring water with her hand. 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.

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