Ann Walker Phillips

38 Weeks

for W and C

I am more place than self, a globe whose one
land mass will not stay still. My topos shifts
as plates beneath the ocean do, on
the slow move. This continent might drift,
completely unreproved, invisible,
until head, elbow, knee or rump protrudes
and pushes from the discrete will that pulls
its shape from me.
                              You are my little nude,
my model, curled up tight from toe to thumb.
Beneath my ribs your protest leans and grows.
But you sculpt me until my nerves are numb
and pose for me until my body knows.
Elusive, you exist of our accord,
love mapped by lines more fluid than inured.


To keep a covenant with scenic views
is to forget the ground exerts its pull.
For instance, this slab juts out, exposed
and grooved by the same water that renews
the trillium, low to the ground and full
of early blooms, nodding along the trail.

I can still press my cheek against a ledge
of vertical limestone and its cool face,
but the distance down makes something more frail,
a possible fall despite the rock's mark
on my hand, proof of its firm and hard edge,
or that, there I am, engraved once and still.

From somewhere below, other losses gust
upward, air suddenly wet and cooler
than before, the breezes from pools or cisterns
made by the slow course of dripping water
deepening the grooves, keeping the balance
of limestone, lost coves, caves, the land in trust.

Never mind the losses and breezes, feints
and dodges, all that time gone by for good.
We all know only so much can be kept.
Like the whorl of the fossil's leafy fern,
or where my hand pressed down, marked once by stone,
Something's always on the brink of going.


Ann Walker Phillips holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and teaches online for the University of Maryland University College. She is the author of Richard Ford (Twayne, 2000) and has published articles on southern women writers and southern culture. Her poems have appeared in Parnassus Literary Journal, Poet Lore, The Christian Science Monitor, Cicada, and Rosebud. Currently, she's working on a multimedia project of her own photographs and poems. A few of her photographs may be seen at her blog and on her Flickr site.


Taylor Altman
Sarah Busse
Nicole Caruso Garcia
Brittany Hill
Lisa Huffaker
Jean Kreiling
Barbara Loots
Charlotte Mandel
Annabelle Moseley
Angela Alaimo O'Donnell
Ann Walker Phillips
Carolyn Raphael
Jennifer Reeser
Hollis Robbins
Catherine Tufariello
Doris Watts
Joyce Wilson
Marly Youmans

Fifth-Anniversary MC Reading
West Chester University Poetry Conference
Friday, June 10
8:15 AM
Alice Mizrachi: Growing up in New York, I have been immersed in a culture that is constantly growing. Throughout my work you can feel the influence the city has had on me, the never-ending desire to grow and flow. One common thread in my work is the texture--rhythm and layers. I love to incorporate tactile surfaces that compel the audience to approach and feel it. Timeless and universal, my images evoke a raw feminine energy that leaves you feeling nurtured. My art is a vehicle to express to the world my journey as a NYC female artist in the past, present and future. I am logging my time here. After completing a residency in Paris during 2010, I am focusing on residencies in other cities with the intention of spreading my art globally.
32 Poems
The Academy of American Poets
The Atlantic
The Christian Science Monitor
The Cortland Review
Favorite Poem Project
The Frost Place
The Iowa Review
Light Quarterly
Modern American Poetry
The Poem Tree
Poetry Daily
Poetry Society of America
Poets House
Raintown Review
String Poet
Valparaiso Poetry Review
Verse Daily
Women's Poetry Listserv
The Yale Review

Bread Loaf
Poetry by the Sea


Barefoot Muse Press
David Robert Books
David R. Godine Press
Graywolf Press
Headmistress Press
The Johns Hopkins University Press
Louisiana State University Press
Northwestern Univ Press
Ohio Univ Press
Persea Books
Red Hen Press
Texas Tech Univ Press
Tupelo Press
Univ of Akron Press
Univ of Arkansas Press
Univ of Illinois Press
Univ of Iowa Press
Waywiser Press
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City Lights
Grolier Poetry Bookshop
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92nd Street Y
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