Infinite Riches in the Smallest Room

By Lucie Brock-Broido b. 1956 Lucie Brock-Broido
Silk spool of the recluse as she confects her eventual mythomania.

If it is written down, you can't rescind it.

Spoon and pottage bowl. You are starving. Come closer now.

What if I were gone and the wind still reeks of hyacinth, what then.

Who will I be: a gaudy arrangement of nuclei, an apple-size gray circle

On the tunic of a Jew, preventing more bad biological accidents

                                From breeding-in. I have not bred-

In. Each child still has one lantern inside lit. May the Mother not

Blow her children out. She says her hair is thinning, thin.

The flowerbed is black, sumptuous in emptiness.

Blue-footed mushrooms line the walkway to my door. I would as soon

Die as serve them in a salad to the man I love. We lie down

In the shape of a gondola. Venice is gorgeous cold. 3 December,

Unspeakable anxiety about locked-in syndrome, about a fourth world.

I cannot presume to say. The violin spider, she

Has six good eyes, arranged in threes.

                                The rims of wounds have wounds as well.

Sphinx, small print, you are inscrutable.

                                                            On the roads, blue thistles, barely

Visible by night, and, by these, you may yet find your way home.

Lucie Brock-Broido, "Infinite Riches in the Smallest Room" from Stay, Illusion. Copyright © 2013 by Lucie Brock-Broido.  Published with arrangement with Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of The Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC.

Source: Stay, Illusion (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013)

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Poet Lucie Brock-Broido b. 1956

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Living, The Body, The Mind, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Nature

 Lucie  Brock-Broido


Lucie Brock-Broido was born in Pittsburgh, was educated at Johns Hopkins and Columbia University, and has taught at Bennington, Princeton, Harvard (where she was a Briggs-Copeland poet), and Columbia. She is the recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, as well as awards from the American Poetry Review and the Academy of American Arts and Letters.

In an interview with Carol Maso for BOMB magazine in . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Body, The Mind, Time & Brevity, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Nature

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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