Winter Numbers: Poems

By Marilyn Hacker

Nominated for the nationwide booklet Critics Circle Award.
In her 7th quantity Marilyn Hacker confronts existence and demise on the finish of our genocidal century, making one other amazing contribution to the feminist and lesbian canon.

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We’ll wait. The engine’s flooded. ” You clarify the car’s idiosyncracies to me. i would like transmission fluid for the mind. So do you: either on our personal back, solitudes stall briefly. Even the R-cinq won’t begin within the rain and she’s a journey de France-class veteran, a difficult previous girl, like we are hoping to be. we'd like transmission fluid for the mind; she must permit her gasoline tank blow-dry, then roll downhill, nudged by way of 3 grizzled pépés. Even the R-cinq won’t commence within the rain. kilos of espresso, 3 bottles of wine, a six-pack, 4 liters of Perrier . . . even the R-cinq won’t begin within the rain: we'd like transmission fluid for the mind. Chiliastic Sapphics Sunday afternoon on the finish of summer time: from where des Vosges come a busking harpist’s liquid notes to lap on the site visitors noises outdoors my window. motor vehicle horns honk: tail finish of a Jewish wedding’s car crocodile. Bridal occasion on the head, they beep towards the vingtième, trailing limp red tulle streamers. turn in a cassette whereas I learn the papers: drought and famine, massacres. Cloistered sisters’ voices increase the Kyrie. A homosexual pastor who used to be kidnapped final week rated photos and a headline. This week, males in uniform: an invasion. Refugees are interviewed crossing borders, businessmen taken hostage. An American in a golfing cart mobilizes young children to the oilfields. Crowds in Jordan volunteer for the jihad’s suicide squadrons. Tanks and airplane vendors take place to salary warfare for Mecca and petrodollars. Poison gasoline is brandished. (The Kurds have been gassed, and then, who protested? ) demise to Jews, to infidels, to invaders! Kill the Arabs! We’re going to blast the bastards off the planet! reporters feed the slogans into pcs. They’ll be heard day after today in each language (even taking priority over football). Holy conflict or genocide: peace is each- the place untranslated. Will she be in love with me whilst I’m fifty? can we nonetheless have names and our personal illnesses? What’s turn into of Pasteur Doucé? His lover mourns, whereas newshounds flock towards battle. The nuns who reach their limpid a cappella O lumière joyeuse made their tape 4 years in the past. They’d be making a song it now, at vespers. At this second, six o’clock sun blazes roof and cornice contrary, the place the associates, simply come domestic from vacation trips within the nation, throw open home windows, and the cost of nectarines and tomatoes by means of the kilo was once what competing voices cried in French and Arabic on the industry early this morning. Annunciation: eight A. M. The plaster-dusted forearms of the lads scaling the next-door development stretch throughout my window. Mallets syncopate their noise to contrapuntal belches of a bus downstairs. an immense blue wire-and-plastic tent covers the scaffolding they clamber up. the following comes a fifty-pound sack of cement hooked dubiously to a pulley-rope. they might have seemed like angels to Cocteau: slick brown palms, backs, chests, flecked with positive white powder. I flip the dial looking for Radio Classique. it may well require anything louder —Tunisian pop?

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