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About this poet

Born in 1951 in Forrest City, Arkansas, Patricia Spears Jones earned her BA at Rhodes College in 1973 and her MFA from Vermont College.

Spears Jones is the author of four collections of poetry: A Lucent Fire: New & Selected Poems (White Pine Press, 2015), Painkiller (Tia Chucha Press, 2010), Femme du Monde (Tia Chucha Press, 2006), and The Weather That Kills (Coffee House Press, 1995).

She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Goethe Institute, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

A resident of New York City since the 1970s, Spears Jones currently serves as a fellow of the Black Earth Institute and has long been involved with the Poetry Project at St. Marks Church. She has taught at Cave Canem, Parsons School of Design, The New School, Sarah Lawrence College, and Naropa University, and she currently teaches at CUNY.


Selected Bibliography

A Lucent Fire: New & Selected Poems (White Pine Press, 2015)
Painkiller (Tia Chucha Press, 2010)
Femme du Monde (Tia Chucha Press, 2006)
The Weather That Kills (Coffee House Press, 1995)

Jim

You looked Texas today
road hard, scrubbed brush, blown tires
gasoline islands

But later California returned—fortune’s poster child
radiating. Truck full of gas,
cheap camera in the glove compartment
stuffed toys on the dashboard,
beads on the steering wheel,
a pretty girl’s picture—fatherly devotion.

What is lost when love ceases
is the power to forget

the early sweetness, the late bitter
talk, the longing for renewal—we all want
Spring, but

Spring does not want us.

Persevere, the skies murmur. Persevere
you weeping poets. You funny beasts.
Hopeful and hurting breathing dragons’

magic fire. Dry seasons last much too long
which is why deserts are vast. Floods don’t help,
but days of chilly showers make for blossoms pink,
blue, violet. A soft evasion.

Drink from the lake’s glacial cup. Hope for better
winters.

Copyright © 2006 by Patricia Spears Jones. Published by Tia Churcha Press. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2006 by Patricia Spears Jones. Published by Tia Churcha Press. All rights reserved.

Patricia Spears Jones

Patricia Spears Jones

Patricia Spears Jones, a longtime resident of New York City, is the author of A Lucent Fire: New & Selected Poems (White Pine Press, 2015).

by this poet

poem

The man with the black feather tattoo pares this space
Between fantasy and the memory of a man’s carved
Torso, designed for stroking and celebration.

Today the sun’s brightness is like that lover’s kiss,
Wonderful in the present and greater in memory.

A memory that brings me back to that

2
poem

Ghostly falls from the fifteenth floor
Feathers leaking/ the pillow speaking

How the sleeper's nightly pounding
Made the pillow yelp and moan

Poor sleeper heard these comments
Angered threw said pillow into

An ugly summer night's air

The pillow had little

poem

And I am full of worry I wrote to a friend
Worry, she replied about what—love, money, health?

All of them, I wrote back. It’s autumn, the air is clear
and you hear death music—the rattle of leaves swirling

the midnight cat howling, a newborn baby’s 3 am
call for food or help or heart’s