From the Other Room
by Anna M. Warrock
Book launch Tues., March 28, 7 pm Porter Square Books
Porter Square, Cambridge, MA
"A remarkable coolness pervades the poems, in content and sensitive attention to form....these poems are mature and gorgeous." - Danielle Legros Georges
The effect is quietly shattering. These poems may or may not console the poet. They will console the rest of us, who have been there, and who owe Anna M. Warrock our deepest gratitude.
- Martín Espada, author of Vivas to Those Who Have Failed
When traveling, the cart cannot go before the horse, and poetry likes it that way. The sun comes up, and it is time for breakfast. At the café, poetry listens to the languages it doesn’t understand, syncopated rhythms for Hello, the way a mouth sucks on a vowel or chews a consonant, the way the sinuses become a Greek amphitheater. Some sounds have no vocabulary, and you have to be a child to duplicate them. Poetry shivers with fascination: how many ways there are to say, Excuse me, or I’ll have coffee thank you, or Hey that’s my book, or I don’t love you anymore.
Now it is late afternoon, with sunlight making its way in ribbons through the leaves of the lindens. Exhausted from walking, seeing the blue and white library, the painted mural of the wars, poetry sits on a bench in front of a store. The store sells vinyl records. But poetry has a handful of ticket stubs and an empty water bottle. It cannot tell whether the store is an homage to a bygone method of preserving sound, or an ongoing journey into a future that already resonates with the waves on the very large lake along the banks of which the people of this country worship. Poetry joins them; its clothes dripping, poetry cools off.
The cart, pushed by an elephant, clatters into the alleyway, its large red wheels chattering on the stones. The returning singers nod half asleep, embracing with arms braced against the cart’s wooden slats, each other.
Remembering My Mother's Face
The face is a jug of water
drawn from a well.
Smooth, soft, the eyes arched handles.
I look, and look hard to hold her.
She smiles—how I am that smile—
and the water