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Rae Armantrout: California Poets Part 1, Three Poems

Rae Armantrout

August 27th, 2020

California Poets: Part I

Rae Armantrout

Three Poems


To cover the material,

“trace the historic path

of a doomed train



To identify


a cloth fox



To see your way


a circle of six blue flowers

beneath an indigo plateau

itself composed

of tiny blossoms –

the “hydrangea.”


To be named.

Some deranged water

Reliable Sources

Don’t mention the universe—

that web of signals

about what?

Each shilling for

its own prospective


An endless wrangling

that passes for matter.

I miss shadows

under motley pebbles,


and equivalent

as the days are


Running the Numbers


comes to a point,

a nib,

and from there

to nibble

and that obscene word,



All that there was

to say


and said again:

the long list

of new absences.


My dreams are now half


half spoof;

half fever sweat,

half “Swamp

all new

tonight at 10:00.”

Author Bio:

Rae Armantrout is the author of fourteen books of poems, including Wobble (2018), a finalist for the National Book Award, Partly, New and Selected Poems (2016), and Versed (2009) which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2010. Her work appears in many journals and anthologies. She is professor emerita from UC San Diego and currently lives in the Seattle area. A new book, Conjure, will be published by Wesleyan in October.


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