Rae Armantrout: 4 poems

  Rae Armantrout

  4 poems

  JPR 08

“Fall / in love / with your solitude.”
says the Instagram poet
with 1.6 million

Maybe it was
“Eat your hunger.”


You’re “excited to see”
how you will withstand
the coming cold and dark.


To withstand.
To hang around.
To hang around
To withdraw.
To wither.


“Who are you talking to?”


To this vine
hung with wrinkled
purple bladders.

Magic’s the art
of misdirection. No,
that’s money.

“Let your children go
to the movies,”
the poet said,

but what about this:
a troupe of magicians
expose bank fraud

and universal digital surveillance
as the work of one
father-son duo

long believed dead,
but, actually, holed up
in a casino

in Macao?

Entertainment’s pricey now.

But you are worth your weight
in cherry-hibiscus gummy


This buzz, this tickle
could be contentment.

photons jostle.

Even displacement
feels pleasant.


Too faded to identify,
a flag

snaps to attention

on a pole dwarfed
by large cedars.


I whisper “milieu”?
as I pull

a cup
from the cupboard.

A human
can surprise herself.


Short phrases stray
to different ends,

begin again
from the same spot:

strings of companion

that music makes
because life won’t —

                            or won’t quite.



We snap shots while
one baby performs
her fake cough

and the other
slaps the floor

one man is slumped
head down
at the supermarket door

while another spins wildly,
stiff arms out,
index fingers pointed
to the parking lot


How long can I trade
for irony?

Just a bit longer.

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