Lisa Russ Spaar


Less what things need.
!10!More a sobbing, helpless chyme

of flickering, passerine want, in gyre,
!10!tornadic, ribboning the resinous cedar,

mythic in winter’s gamboge sun,
!10!gilt, yet also monastic, in your way.

Your hand the temple my body,
!10!a flock, moves on.  A noise like life,

first thought put inside us,
!10!the soul, perhaps, calm & potent

in its patient cask, as, limbs
!10!blistering with honeyed heat,

feathers fisting, we, in extremity,
!10!become completely world.

Lisa Russ Spaar is the author of many collections of poetry, including Glass Town (Red Hen Press, 1999), Blue Venus (Persea, 2004), Satin Cash (Persea, 2008) and most recently Vanitas, Rough (Persea, December 2012). A new collection of her poems, Orexia, will appear from Persea in 2017. She is the editor of Acquainted with the Night: Insomnia Poems (Columbia University Press, 1999) and All that Mighty Heart: London Poems (University of Virginia Press, 2008), and a collection of her essays, The Hide-and-Seek Muse: Annotations of Contemporary Poetry, appeared from Drunken Boat Media in March 2013. She is the editor of a new anthology, Monticello in Mind: Fifty Contemporary Poets on Jefferson, due out from the University of Virginia Press in February 2016. Her awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Award, a 2016 Pushcart Prize Anthology award, the Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize for Poetry. Her poems have appeared or forthcoming in the Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prize Anthology series and have recently appeared in Poetry, Boston Review, IMAGE, and Virginia Quarterly Review. She is Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Virginia.