Issue 4: Ann Lauterbach


A cataract   or      blooming child swells affect

in her throat skin lesions or the consummate stage untells

affiliation over or anxiously paced

her questioning  or  scald  or  market of defense

impermeable  or         

already  as ready   or    squalid underneath the indignant cross

lacerating an equivocal condition      or        site  section

imagined to contain henceforth its drip

a meager void sure among the silly adventurers morbid in relay

or stripped of  foreseeable grass

or linked

as if by the permutations of dream

and thought

exponents gain  or  had they trimmed it back

had they

allowed the same

as man walking up and down

its drop holistic

not smoke

not the musical invasion from behind a wall

oblique angle of  yellow fiber

girl fighting with her quilt

that quiet demeanor      string

a white snail on a white placard

hung around her neck   shell frequently touched

method of appraisal     allotted daily.


           For Michael Joo

Let us move more quickly, night,

now night, star crusted, opulent.

The indictment of thought is

an opal's smooth version.

Guard our sensations, be copious, or

at least perform adequate

vistas. I saw a pair of eagles

from the train. The train trains on.

They, their sitting.

Night is longer than the sitting,

We, gathered and copious.

The eagles, a pair.

I warrant the arrest of the boy

Who shot another boy in this sad.

In this sad, would you have said no?

Bickering, passing the gun, a game

of pass the gun.

There are gangs.

This is not a lesson.

A transformation of the subject

into another subject.  Not to insist.

Velvet Revolution, Velvet Underground.

Lou, hello Lou? Can you hear?

I am here in a dark church

Imagining an improvised history

as if channeling the news!

The eagles sit at the edge of the river.

The camera is out of earshot. Jack

Spicer is about to speak

into the nearest phenomenon

while the deer

while the dear

spelled d/e /a/ r

halts naturalism

and a new equation

only you in the pews can solve.

Are we lost among our subjects?

The lone bobcat

Andrew and I saw


an ancient and incendiary

commotion. Hunting season

under the big tent.

And then there was a magician

strolling along in broad daylight

with something up his sleeve.

There is a silver zebra

on a silver tray in a gallery in New York.

Ann Lauterbach is a poet and critic from New York. Her most recent collection is Or to Begin Again (Penguin 2009). A book of prose essays, The Night Sky: Writings on the Poetics of Experience was published in 2005. She is co-directs Writing in the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, where she is Schwab Professor of Languages and Literature. She is a Visiting Core Critic in sculpture at the Yale School of Art.]

Copyright © 2010 by Ann Lauterbach, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.