Procedures

By Rae Armantrout b. 1947 Rae Armantrout
The palm tree exposes
a large number
of loose, carved spines

out of pleasure?

Boredom?

                *

To start over
in the carved moment
is to take cover.

                *

A solid short woman
in a pink wool suit

proceeds—
anxiously? doggedly?

alone

up a sidewalk
laid down for her.

(We don’t believe it.)

                *

There are two kinds
of choices,

pirate sources say:

unconscious
and desperate.

Source: Poetry (June 2009).

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2009
 Rae  Armantrout

Biography

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 Relationships, Love, Nature, Life Choices

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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