By Rae Armantrout b. 1947 Rae Armantrout

God twirled
across the face of
what cannot be named
since it was not moving.

God was momentum then,
that impatience
with interruption,

stamping time's blanks
with its own image.


Now her theme will be
that she has escaped
certain destruction,

that she is   
impossibly lucky.

This theme should be jaunty
but slightly discordant,

coming in, as it does,
so late.

The character
associated with this theme
should be dressed
in markedly old-fashioned clothing—

a hoop skirt perhaps—

while everyone else   
is in cut-offs,

ready for the barbeque.

Source: Poetry (June 2008).


This poem originally appeared in the June 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2008
 Rae  Armantrout


Rae Armantrout, one of the founding members of the West Coast group of Language poets, stands apart from other Language poets in her lyrical voice and her commitment to the interior and the domestic. Her short-lined poems are often concerned with dismantling conventions of memory, pop culture, science, and mothering, and these unsparing interrogations are often streaked with wit. “You can hold the various elements of my poems in . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Religion, God & the Divine, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books


SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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