Photo by Jeff Sirkin

the eucaplyptus grove at new moon

a ragged


this is

a poorly wall


Notre Dame

a vault of scent

and creaking

like the great crusade ships       their small screams in wind

to walk through

is to

liken to

an else

a where

some place of faith

and the hard pods

scattered on the path


cast spells         of unknown portent


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*** ** ***

a poem with three lines from one night in Portland*

While others of fine wine claimed to be experts

I convinced them all I had invented air, climbing through a window

in the center of the room that no one knew was there,

as no one sees the mime holding the banana until it is peeled.

Who tripped the wires, the wires every one!

The cry went out from widening eyes, lubricated uvulas,

as I emerged into the future an acrobatic witness.

And the fireplace warped the light, Debussy on low

caused boredom in perfectly lively jute rugs,

plants filled with spiders, glassware brimmed olive on olive on stick.

Someone was late or not coming after all,

politics began lolling a tongue over an endtable.

And the merriment erupted at midnight into dark,

small doses of something that raised voices, required salt,

banging at doors and smashing windows

some didn’t even know were there to be broken.

*includes three lines from “One Night in Portland” from Deborah

 Digges’ The Wind Blows Through the Doors of My Heart.


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*** ** ***


[Santorini, Greece]

high on hillsides and stone-low. windwhips.

[the grapes]

more wine than water out there.

[the mainlanders]

we live the illusion of snow. our towns like a powder atop.

[the islanders]

Thera, Atlantis, terroir of mists and long ago abrupt.

[the archeologists]

by the case and cherry tomatoes, caper berries.

[the tourists]

[the sea]



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*** ** ***


February 2011

On the horizon: a dead god’s new book.2

The interviews are breath-taking. Edgy.3

Dog races come inexplicably4

to mind. Sweet numbered cloaks all bolting West.5

A metaphor of muscle, circling, strain,6

onward toward the rabbit hole in broad sun.7

I hear they put them down. No Wonderland8

awaits. Except, perhaps in footnotes. Please,9

tell me more about the shore, O Pale King!10

from your Midwestern tennis court, hold sway.11

1The complete quote from David Foster Wallace is on media saturation:

 “Why would anyone want to live when they could watch.”

2The radio is bristling: “First Look!”

3Still, a slather of guilt, of over-dredging.

4(Although some might see capability.)

5or shocking East, but straight toward some sure bet.

6The geometry of loop, trap, of pain.

7Everyone looked, gasped at what was gone (done).

8A world writ by his hand. By his own hand.

9Awake! Accept some facts (in footnotes = pleas).

10The egrets pixilated: photo things.

11I’ve seen the sea ten thousand times, you say.


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*** ** ***


In gender studies

(a fuzzy study unlike

optometry but no less vital

to vision), we discuss a continuum.

It is suggested that like

dusk                   the boundaries aren’t


Outside of Eskilstuna, Sweden:

there was twilight,

a disagreement between us,

and the fox in the field.

The way if you looked at the sky your eyes would flip one way/

rods or cones

if you looked at the field another\

(by you, I mean anyone, though you were there)

dark to light/

\light to dark.

It is where you think the longest night may take you:

the sky or the field.

The fox pouncing—beautiful arc of a body

at the death of something

that could not be seen.

That unmapped arc in the falling or rising night was triumph of trajectory,

was enough to               readjust us to the task.

If the fox was male\

was female/                   I do know it claimed life.

You looked in my eyes, or I in


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*** ** ***


We are here. It’s a smattering of tourist-encrusted rocks spun out onto the burred and tweedy sea.

Stornoway: all oceanic winds, mineral-tinged whisky, oats and battered fish, busting at the seams

with a vacancy of trees, an abundance of Neolithic light, the stones themselves standing in wait.

These dead isles twined, sold, silent, wrapped in white waxed paper, trimmed, and weighed.

Air burials by eagles, and we’re chasing a dull purple sandpiper out Aignish Point to feel alive,

we wander in search of something that doesn’t already know we are arrived.

Up-alley a chattering man is butchering a lamb in a language we don’t understand but we

catch on to cadence: hands along, then within, a cavity and a thud clank dangle splice of tongue.

A shank an archipelago a fricative a plosive a butterfly a bone an awareness of skill

an acuity: the ease with which the air between us can be cleaved and made knowable.


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*** ** ***


you are the soft spot in my heart for manifest destiny

and phrases like manifest destiny, like soft spot

for the complex desires of Michelin starred restaurants in strip malls.

you remind me of the ghost town that as a child we would visit

just for the day because no water, expansion too quick, conditions too harsh.

you remind me in your earnest art and moneyed cocktail lounges of everything

denied. the boy glittering on the stage, singing from the heart

about nothing and me wanting to be that choice so badly

lip syncing along no sound not having the guts to confront

what epicenter is. what sometimes doesn’t rise, doesn’t ash, but burns and burns.


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Elizabyth A. Hiscox
is the author of Inventory from a One-Hour Room. She served as Poet-in-Residence at Durham University (UK) and is recipient of Arizona Commission on the Arts and Vermont Studio Center Grants. Also selected for the Seventh Avenue Streetscape public-art initiative, her poetry was displayed on a central-Phoenix billboard for a year in conjunction with the city’s First Friday art walks. Hiscox holds an MFA from Arizona State University and a PhD from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. She has taught writing in England, the Czech Republic, and Spain and currently instructs at Western State Colorado University where she is founding director of the Contemporary Writer Series.


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