Rae Armantrout


One's a connoisseur of vacancies,

loud silences
surrounding human artifacts:

stucco hulls
of forgotten origin

that squat
over the sleepers

in rows
on raised platforms.

She calls her finds


One is ebullient,

shaving seconds,
navigating among refills.

She's concerned with the rhythm
of her own sequence of events,

if such they can be called,

though these may be indistinguishable
from those in the lives of other people,

though the continuity which interests her
breaks up
in the middle distance.


She finds the fly-leaves of her new notebook
have been pre-printed
in old-fashioned script -

phrases broken to suggest

as a site of faux urgency:

"this work since it's commenced"

"cannot nor willnot stay"

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