By Alice Lyons Alice Lyons Read the Q & A
Greed got in the way. We built a fake estate.
Levinas said to see ourselves we need each other yet

doorbells, rows of them, glow in the night village
a string of lit invitations no elbow has leaned into

(both arms embracing messages). Unanswered
the doors are rotting from the bottom up.

It’s another perplexing pothole in our road, loves.
Hard core from the quarry might make it level,

hard core and cunning speculation into matters
concerning love and doubt, concerning want and plenty.

O the places where pavement runs out and ragwort
springs up, where Lindenwood ends but doesn’t abut

anywhere neatly, a petered-out plot of Tayto
tumbleweeds, bin bags, rebar, roof slates, offcuts,

guttering, drain grilles, doodads, infill, gravel!
A not-as-yet nice establishment, possessing potential

where we have no authorized voice but are oddly fitted
out for the pain it takes to build bit by bit.

When the last contractions brought us to the brink
of our new predicament, we became developers.

Source: Poetry (December 2011).


This poem originally appeared in the December 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

December 2011
 Alice  Lyons


Alice Lyons was born in Paterson, New Jersey and grew up in its suburbs. She has earned degrees in European history, sociolinguistics, and fine art from Connecticut College, the University of Pennsylvania, and Boston University. She earned a PhD from the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Queen's University, Belfast. She served on the faculty at Maine College of Art in Portland for a number of years before moving, in 1998, to a . . .

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SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Class, Money & Economics


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