Voices from the River

1990, 36 pages

"[These] poems… have in common clarity, accessibility, and vigor." —Maxine Kumin


I like the crunch of hard things, whole
wheat rounds split and dried in the oven

from the bread store on Prince Street
where the man with tar-black hair eats

on the oilcloth table behind the sliding curtain
with his little silver mother. Bread I like hard

for the roar taking my skull, the avalanche
of oblivion, its vocabulary racing over

the twisty roads of my brain. I want to hear
storm winds wrench a splitting willow limb

from its trunk, raw wood rip away with the howl
of a cat in the pain of heat, splinter

and tear off butt naked until it claws down
the side of the house, strikes the grass, lands

upended, spine not broken, riding the shriek
of the break given first full voice.

ANNELIESE WAGNER from Voices from the River




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