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About this poet

Anselm Berrigan was born in 1972 in Chicago, Illinois. He received a BA from SUNY Buffalo and an MFA from Brooklyn College. He is the son of poets Alice Notley and the late Ted Berrigan.

He is the author of several books of poetry, including Something for Everybody (Wave Books, 2018), Come in Alone (Wave Books, 2016), Notes from Irrelevance (Wave Books, 2011), Free Cell (City Lights Books, 2009), and Integrity and Dramatic Life (Edge, 1999). With Alice Notley and his brother Edmund Berrigan, he coedited The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan (University of California, 2005) and the Selected Poems of Ted Berrigan (University of California, 2011).

Berrigan was a New York State Foundation for the Arts Fellow in poetry in 2007 and has received threegrants from the Fund for Poetry. From 2003 to 2007, he served as artistic director of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church. He is cochair of writing at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts and also teaches writing at Pratt Institute and Brooklyn College. He lives in New York City.


Bibliography

Something for Everybody (Wave Books, 2018)
Come in Alone (Wave Books, 2016)
Notes from Irrelevance (Wave Books, 2011)
Free Cell (City Lights Books, 2009)
Some Notes on My Programming (Edge, 2006)
Zero Star Hotel (Edge, 2002)
Integrity and Dramatic Life (Edge, 1999)

What the Streets Look Like

Mom: the sweet rotted
summer stench still
taps the nasal cavity
inside breezes several
times per block. I have
a greater empathy for
pigeons after two months
at work in the unnatural 
country, & find it
instinctively nerve-
wracking to remove my
wallet from its pocket
here in town despite
the general lack of threat.
The streets look grey
nonplussed, post-
pubescent relative to
ancient times but
nonetheless grid-wizened
in the face of an ever-
changing lineup of
banks, bars, and specialty 
shops with their weak
signs and distant tones
(lighting). Second Ave
is giving up, slowly 
its cheap depth store-
front by storefront.
One feels less than
nostalgic for the like-
lihood of being mugged
but likelihood itself
feels less than evident
unless one is being
unstable and unspoken 
coming to dreaming
while pushing a stroller
over the variously cracked
slabs of concrete each
block yet greets the
wheels with. The right
part of the y heading
west on tenth between
2nd and 3rd is still
tree-lined and aristocratic
as feint, though its
sidewalk looks like
late Auden's smoked
cheeks. I loathe it,
amiably, when Sylvie
is asleep. 

From Something for Everybody. Copyright © 2018 by Anselm Berrigan. Used with the permission of Wave Books.

From Something for Everybody. Copyright © 2018 by Anselm Berrigan. Used with the permission of Wave Books.

Anselm Berrigan

Anselm Berrigan

Anselm Berrigan is the author of five books of poetry, including Notes from Irrelevance (Wave Books, 2011).

by this poet

poem
Meat pies delivered daily from
tuck shop the chalkboard
improvisionally utters to a
chump's eye. Somewhere in
the thick of the grip of the
shit that must be said to be
gotten out of the way. Can I
sit in your lap and watch
kitty videos? No, I have to
go to work. Can I go to
work with you? We can
walk outside
poem

Mocking model on table helps

Hate my exploding (again) pen

She insists upon ignoring from

Her cover the iffy chromatics

Of the Curie hospital's petit

Waiting room, little squares

Of color posting up hyper-bored

On passing surfaces, they surface

To pass me, I like to

poem
Things surrounding things
fill my Wicked Tuna grid
 
heart with a swishy austerity-like
intention. I cut my post-fleshy
 
forearms & bleed a serious parallel
echo chamber reading everything
 
to approve of nothing. I massage  
my anterior cruciate ligaments
 
to celebrate a hard won royal flush.
This mind is