Rae Armantrout: 4 poems

  Rae Armantrout

  Four poems


He would spin
until he shone,

until he shone
and exploded.

Then he’d suck it up
and start over.

That was his big idea –
his pleasure.

They called it ‘stimming’
for ‘self-stimulation.’

But they weren’t real.


‘That’s enough!’ they said.

(Enough for proof
of concept)

  come again

Clouds drift

above the concrete
bisecting the window

behind which
I say this,
coming again

like Jesus
to realize
what already is,

where ‘is’
is a ping-pong ball
whacked back and forth

between capitals
and periods.

Then I look up
to see a white truck

rolling through the heavens

  One World

In the wicker chairs (for sale)
at One World Market,
an old homeless man, slumped
so his head rests
on his knees,

and across from him,
a plump, bored kid
in Bermuda shorts


The man rushing past
calling out body measurements,
‘5′10″, 180 lbs. Oh yeah!’
in a voice full of anger


To stroke
the dream’s fur
beside the dream’s hearth
is happiness

even as I see
that this is not
my cat, that I am
not myself

  The Conversation


They make a difference.
They fluoresce.

They answer
the blue light

that reaches them

by stretching
its wave length, glowing

red, yellow, green


If any liquid
in a paper cup

were known as
‘Love Your Beverage’

a disturbing commandment
would be lifted

and we wouldn’t face
the hard problem

of deciding who
is addressing whom



Rae Armantrout’s latest book is Partly: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan UP, 2016).


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