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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)

A pillow in the city

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 choice
The sleeper's fists. The sleeper's mouth

Not kind, not soft, always angry
The sleeper always angry—even

Dreaming the sleeper could not
Stop rage, so the bed was a battlefield
The pillow, an enemy. And now

Said enemy slowly plunges towards
The courtyard deflated, a feral squirrel

Watches the fall, moves on towards
The overflowing garbage bins, nose open
Time to feast.

Copyright © 2013 by Patricia Spears Jones. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2013 by Patricia Spears Jones. Used with permission of the author.

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

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

poem
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

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

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