from You, part XII

By Ron Silliman b. 1946 Ron Silliman

for Pat Silliman



A guide to the sky under full nondisclosure.


Dawn in the bare birch trees, the sun, swollen, throbs over the horizon. Hotel

buffet doodah. Two dogs dancing, sniffing one another’s genitalia.


One can hear the electricity wired in the walls, water rushing through the

pipes, the boards and joints of the old house groaning as they settle.


Map of morning. Winter light. One’s experience of the transfer point air-

port as that of the city itself. Dear winter, it’s 5:15 AM. Shoes for Mickey



Waste deep in the big muddy. The sound of rain around. The line (not visible)

binds letters into words. People are drowning.


Moon, broken in the middle. What a watch watches. Song of the single en-

gine Cessna, threading the pre-dawn sky. One bird, one bird, many.


Blades of grass brittle in the freeze. Spider’s corner of the bath room. One

maple tree that will not return to life.

Ron Silliman, “You” (XII) from The Alphabet. Copyright © 2008 by Ron Silliman. Reprinted by permission of University of Alabama Press.

Source: The Alphabet (The University of Alabama Press, 2008)

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Poet Ron Silliman b. 1946

SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

Subjects Nature, Animals, Winter, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

 Ron  Silliman


An influential figure in contemporary poetics, Ron Silliman became associated with the West Coast literary movement known as “Language poetry” in the 1960s and ‘70s. He edited In the American Tree (1986), which remains the primary Language poetry anthology, as well as penned one of the movement’s defining critical texts, The New Sentence (1987). Silliman’s prolific publishing career includes over thirty books of poetry, critical . . .

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SUBJECT Nature, Animals, Winter, Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture

SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

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