poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

Recorded for Poem-a-Day, August 9, 2016.
About this Poem 

“Is it possible to have too many memories? When we get to that point, are we ready to die? Probably not, and, besides, I don't believe there are any riverboats in Phoenix.”
—Rae Armantrout

Hoard

    1

She went around pre-registered
for her own eventual absence.

Not that she believed
her self-estrangement
would save her,
whatever that meant,

but she hoped
that registering this estrangement
with the proper authorities
might still


    2

Nice as it was, she resented it—
this memory—this
river-boat hotel deck chair
in—Phoenix (?).

There was no place for it
in her already crowded rooms.

She was no hoarder!

But the alternative
seemed even worse

Copyright © 2016 by Rae Armantrout. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 9, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2016 by Rae Armantrout. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 9, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Rae Armantrout

Rae Armantrout

Rae Armantrout was born in Vallejo, California, in 1947, and was part of the first generation of Language poets on the West Coast. She is the author of Partly: New and Selected Poems, 2001–2015 (Wesleyan University Press, 2016); Itself (Wesleyan University Press, 2015).

by this poet

poem
Lie

1

I lay down
the acidification
of the ocean
with a sly smile.

Unstoppable
beats fiery impact
every time.

*

But the sweet yellow
shoulders of the road—

the up and up
into same blossom.

I'd like to hold these
in

poem
We maintain a critical distance
from the sad spaniel gentlemen

in cravats
on the plaid duvet

at the Custom Hotel,
Los Angeles.

We are so over it.
We fly

from terminal
to terminal

almost endlessly.

We are almost
money.

We can wait
at high speed.
poem
Local anchors list the ways
viewers might enjoy tomorrow.

One says, “Get some great....”, but
that seems like a stretch.

The other snickers, meaning,
“Where were you going with that?”

Like you thought


     *

Like you could defend 
vanity

in the sense of
idle conceit,

vacuous self-
absorption,

doing