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Sally Ball

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Sally Ball

Sally Ball is the author of two poetry collections: Wreck Me (Barrow Street Press, 2013) and Annus Mirabilis (Barrow Street Press, 2005). The recipient of fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the James Merrill House, and the Ucross Foundation, among others, Ball is an associate professor of English at Arizona State University and an associate director at Four Way Books.

by this poet



In retrospect there is no side to choose:
in math, Newton was earliest to make the formulas contort and yield
but never told a soul; and Leibniz, a little later,
did the same startling calculations somewhat differently,
and published them, as was his way:


I know you are dying
as always, even you big ones
from Queens, or from Nyack,
and I’m in the habit
of checking the clock,
midnight again. Again no
phone call, no lungs
expanding and contracting
with some machine
for a brain while the hospital
empties and a family


The mind doesn’t do what we want it to do.

Mine plays speed Scrabble; it sifts pages and pages

of pictures of shoes. Palmyra goodbye. Temple of Bel not a pun

but a ruin. A ruined ruin, a ruin sent to oblivion

on purpose. Who cares if I fold up at my desk

a heap of angry sorrow. Not any