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Author: ALEXANDER, ELIZABETH
Matches Found: 153


Alexander, Elizabeth    Poet's Biography
153 poems available by this author


A POEM FOR NELSON MANDELA    Poem Text    
First Line: Here where I live it is sunday
Last Line: And I see this sunday clean
Subject(s): Mandela, Nelson (1918-2013)


AFFIRMATIVE ACTION BLUES (1993)    Poem Text    
First Line: Right now two black people sit in a jury room
Last Line: I am not a pinata, rodney king insists. Opw can't we all get along
Subject(s): King, Rodney (b.1966); Trials; Racism; Language; Police Violence


AFFIRMATIVE ACTION BLUES (1993)       
First Line: Right now two black people sit in a jury room
Last Line: I am not a pinata, rodney king insists. Now can't we all get along?
Subject(s): Baby Boom Generation; Women


AFTER THE GIG: MICK JAGGER       
First Line: The baby cries. Mick jagger swaggers backstage
Last Line: Picks the baby up, coo-coos, %and then rocks that baby down


ALA       
First Line: At the hoop you sing 'black man!'
Last Line: Fingers to the talking book: %bama. Alabama. What you said


ALICE AT ONE HUNDRED AND TWO       
First Line: Yes, she said, I want to live a lot more years
Last Line: Yes, she said, I want to live a lot more years %but not so slowly


APOLLO    Poem Text     Recitation
First Line: We pull off / to a road shack
Last Line: Even than we are
Subject(s): Baby Boom Generation; Women


APOLLO       
First Line: We pull off %to a road shack
Last Line: Stranger, stranger %even than we are
Subject(s): Baby Boom Generation; Women


ARS POETICA #100: I BELIEVE    Poem Text    
First Line: Poetry, I tell my students
Last Line: And are we not of interest to each other?
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets


AT THE BEACH    Poem Text    
First Line: Looking at the photograph is somehow not
Last Line: On darrell’s brown shoulder
Subject(s): Aids (disease)


AT THE BEACH       
First Line: Looking at the photograph is somehow not
Last Line: Of your elbow, melvin, %on darrll's brown shoulder


AUTUMN PASSAGE       
First Line: On suffering, which is real
Last Line: As it turns to something else


BABY       
First Line: The doctor handed me a parfait dish
Last Line: I am formless and fanged, boy and girl both, %food and baby at the very same time


BEARDEN       
First Line: One eye is larger than her two black hands
Last Line: Low moons. Women taking tin-tub baths


BILLY STRAYHORN WRITES LUSH LIFE       
First Line: Empty ice-cream carton %in a kitchen garbage can
Last Line: This life, new york, piano %love, then lonely, this life, love


BLACKWATER RIVER       
First Line: In winter the river must tunnel, as blind


BLUES    Poem Text    
First Line: I am lazy, the laziest
Last Line: Or open arms saying, I forgive you, all
Subject(s): Indolence; Sleep; Conduct Of Life


BOSTON YEAR    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: My first week in cambridge a car full of white boys
Subject(s): African Americans - Women; Alienation (social Psychology); Americans; Boston; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Dissenters; Exiles; Marginality, Social; United States; Estrangement; Outcasts; America


BOSTON YEAR       
First Line: My first week in cambridge a car full of white boys
Last Line: No one. Red notes sounding in a grey trolley town
Subject(s): African Americans - Women; Alienation (social Psychology); Americans; Boston; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Dissenters; Exiles; Marginality, Social; United States


BUTTER    Poem Text    
First Line: My mother loves butter more than I do
Last Line: Out, one hundred megawatts of butter
Subject(s): Butter; Family Life; Relatives


BUTTER       
First Line: My mother loves butter more than I do
Last Line: Our parent's efforts, glowing from the inside %out, one hundred megawatts of butter


CLEAN       
First Line: Dreamt of almost-viscous water
Last Line: Bonjour, claude levi-strauss! %at last, I am totally clean!


COMPASS       
First Line: I swing %the thin tin %arm to mark
Last Line: To breathe in cold air, to breathe %in...Out... %breathe in


CONCH CHOWDER       
First Line: I'm making conch chowder, says my next-door neighbor, joe. There
Last Line: My eyes fill up again when she says the word, family. I sit down in front %of the tv and eat my co


COUGH MEDICINE    Poem Text    
First Line: Grape robitussen tastes like melted lollipop
Last Line: Down the bathtub drain, who are frozen in place forever
Subject(s): Medicine; Drugs, Prescription


CRASH    Poem Text    
First Line: I am the last woman off of the plane
Last Line: With gravy and rice, to celebrate
Subject(s): Airplane Accidents; Air Crashes; Aeronautics - Accidents; Airplane Collisions


CRASH       
First Line: I am the last woman off of the plane
Last Line: At my parents', for my mother's roast chicken %with gravy and rice, to celebrate


CREOLE CAT       
First Line: I am in new orleans with my two friends jennifer and anna, and with
Last Line: Wolfe is thrilled, says he'll put her on the main stage at the joe papp %public theater. He'll make


DARK ROOM       
First Line: Black poetry is
Last Line: My brothers, go on %with your darkest, your dark %and lovely selves


DEADWOOD DICK       
First Line: Colored cowboy named nat love
Last Line: Black cowboy. Leather hat


DIRT-EATERS       
First Line: Tra %dition %wanes %I read
Last Line: Her smile %famili %ar as the %smell %of %dirt


EARLY CINEMA    Poem Text    
First Line: According to mister hedges, the custodian
Last Line: No movies for months after
Subject(s): Motion Pictures; School; Movies; Cinema


EARLY CINEMA       
First Line: According to mister hedges, the custodian
Last Line: There was no school that day, %no movies for months after


ELEGY       
First Line: Motherless, fatherless
Last Line: Of metal, city of black, black coal


EMANCIPATION    Poem Text    
First Line: Corncob constellation, / oyster shell, drawstring pouch, dry bones
Last Line: We're free
Subject(s): Freedom; Slavery; Liberty; Serfs


EQUINOX       
First Line: Now is the time of year when bees are wild
Last Line: To say, we are waiting. She is silent, light %as an empty hive, and she is breathing


EVIDENCE       
First Line: Like everyone else, I dream I've been raped long ago and forgotten it, by
Last Line: Think about that name. Arsenio, arsenic, arsenal, arsonist, a name which is %closest to fire.


FAMILY STONE       
First Line: We drive 'the nutmeg state' in summer
Last Line: As the word 'connecticut,' dream of mammoth %feet with painted toes, buckets of clabber, sirens


FAREWELL TO YOU       
First Line: Each man on this slow train
Last Line: Beloved romare bearden: %farewell to you


FEMALE SEER WILL BURN UPON THIS PYRE       
First Line: Sylvia plath is setting my hair
Last Line: The nursery tidy, the floor swept clean %of burnt hair and bumblebee husks


FEMINIST POEM NUMBER ONE    Poem Text    
First Line: Yes I have dreams where I am rescued by men
Last Line: All of it, all of it, under one roof
Subject(s): Women's Rights; Feminism


FEMINIST POEM NUMBER ONE       
First Line: Yes I have dreams where I am rescued by men
Last Line: All of it, all of it, under one roof
Subject(s): Women's Rights


FOUR BONGOS: TAKE A TRAIN       
First Line: The drummer wears suspenders to look like
Last Line: Like changeable weather, in gabardine


FUGUE: 1. WALKING (1963)       
First Line: You tell me, knees are important, you kiss
Last Line: Into a light both brilliant and unseen


FUGUE: 2. 1964       
First Line: In a beige silk sari
Last Line: My mother was a chignon. %my mother in her youth


FUGUE: 3. 1968       
First Line: The city burns. We have to stay at home
Last Line: He makes the world a better place for negroes. %the year is nineteen-sixty-eight


FUGUE: 4. 1971       
First Line: Hey blood, my father said then
Last Line: Hey blood. My father %still says that sometimes


FUGUE: 5. THE SUN KING (1974)       
First Line: James hampton, the sun king
Last Line: And the sun king lives %in washington, dc


GEORGIA POSTCARD       
First Line: I. Atlanta
Last Line: The mammoth dogwoods, %the christmas tree farm


GERANIUMS       
First Line: In my front yard, negro
Last Line: Geraniums in my front yard, %survivors, nigger red


GIFT       
First Line: I dreamed I forgot to say thank you
Last Line: It is not quite so noisy inside %and then he disappeared


GRAVITAS       
First Line: Emergency! A bright yellow school bus
Last Line: And a spine made of pearls, %and every day I speak to her in tongues


HAIRCUT    Poem Text    
First Line: I get off the irt in front of the schomburg center
Last Line: Dying every day
Subject(s): Barbers; Harlem (new York City)


HOSEA WILLIAMS       
First Line: Rabble-rousing lunchbreaks
Last Line: As a swamp, as a goldfish %swimming in a cut-glass bowl


HOSTAGE       
First Line: As far as we can %determine they have been
Last Line: Exciting things like this never happen to me


HOUSE PARTY SONNET: '66       
First Line: Small, still. Fit through the bannister slit
Last Line: Hum of invisible dancers asleep


ISLANDS NUMBER FOUR: 1.       
First Line: Agnes martin, islands number four
Last Line: What looks to be perfect is not perfect. %odd oval portholes that flood with light


ISLANDS NUMBER FOUR: 2.       
First Line: Description of a slave ship, 1789
Last Line: And sold for twelve ounces of gold apiece %or gone overboard. Islands. Aftermath


JOHN COL       
First Line: John col- %trane's central park
Last Line: John coltrane col- %trane song


KEVIN OF THE N. E. CREW    Poem Text    
First Line: From the bus I see graffiti
Last Line: Weed fence pole split / kevin
Subject(s): African Americans – Children


KEVIN OF THE N. E. CREW       
First Line: From the bus I see graffiti
Last Line: Weed - fence - pole - split %kevin
Subject(s): Literary Form


L.A. BY NIGHT       
First Line: We're in a postcard, driving
Last Line: Light, a magnificent %planet, l.A. By night


LADDERS    Poem Text    
First Line: Filene's department store
Last Line: Monkey? Girl? Answer me
Subject(s): African Americans; Family Life; Department Stores


LADDERS       
First Line: Filene's department store
Last Line: Monkey, girl? Answer me
Subject(s): Literary Form


LAMENT       
First Line: We argue. I dream we live where I used to live
Last Line: I share with one I have pledged to love forever, the windows %gaping open, the word armageddon har


LETTER: BLUES       
First Line: Yellow freesia are like twining arms
Last Line: Will feed my city dirt roots. Wait for me


LIFE AS DINNER PARTY       
First Line: Tonight is a dinner party gone awry
Last Line: Enough for everyone, extra for me, %so cool, so pure, so white, so sweet


LYNDA HULL    Poem Text    
First Line: The poet lynda hull, whom I did not know well
Last Line: Leaving this bitch of a world for the next
Subject(s): Death; Hull, Lynda (1954-1994); Dead, The


MANHATTAN ELEGY    Poem Text    
First Line: I left behind a mother, father
Last Line: New york, my city of adults
Subject(s): New York City; Manhattan; New York, New York; The Big Apple


MANHATTAN ELEGY       
First Line: I left behind a mother, father
Last Line: To sing this kaddish for new york, %new york, my city of adults


MIAMI FOOTNOTE       
First Line: I could go to any city
Last Line: There is no escaping the warm %water, this pink city, miami


MINNESOTA FATS DESCRIBES HIS YOUTH    Poem Text    
First Line: I've been eating
Last Line: They would shoot me the grapes
Subject(s): Food & Eating; Minnesota Fats (fictional Pool Hustler)


MONET AT GIVERNY       
First Line: Iris and haystack. Japanese footbridge
Last Line: Disgusting, I see everything in blue.'


MOVIE STAR       
First Line: In the dream, I slept with jack nicholson
Last Line: Brown lipstick, a boar-bristle brush, florida water, pimple cream


NARRATIVE: ALI    Poem Text    
First Line: My head so big
Last Line: Myself / muhammad
Subject(s): Ali, Muhammad (cassius Clay)


NARRATIVE: ALI: 1.       
First Line: My head so big
Last Line: Language, any %continent: ali


NARRATIVE: ALI: 10. RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE       
First Line: Ali boma ye
Last Line: I pound my chest but of my own accord


NARRATIVE: ALI: 11.       
First Line: I said to joe frazier
Last Line: We both bad niggers. %we don't do no crawlin'


NARRATIVE: ALI: 12.       
First Line: They called me the fistic pariah.
Last Line: Myself, %muhammad


NARRATIVE: ALI: 2.       
First Line: Two photographs
Last Line: And after that %I slept at night


NARRATIVE: ALI: 3.       
First Line: I need to train
Last Line: Hear them talk, %talk back


NARRATIVE: ALI: 4.       
First Line: Bottom line: olympic gold
Last Line: Drag the ribbon down, %red, white, and blue


NARRATIVE: ALI: 5.       
First Line: Laying on the bed
Last Line: Months with sonji, %first woman I loved


NARRATIVE: ALI: 6.       
First Line: There's not
Last Line: Is whip me, %but he can't


NARRATIVE: ALI: 7. DRESSING-ROOM VISITOR       
First Line: He opened
Last Line: Meaning niggers %like me


NARRATIVE: ALI: 8. TRAINING       
First Line: Unsweetened grapefruit juice
Last Line: Two-thirty, two-twenty, %two-ten, two-oh-nine


NARRATIVE: ALI: 9.       
First Line: Will I go
Last Line: You could be %snatched back


NARRATIVE: ALI; A POEM IN TWELVE ROUNDS       
First Line: My head so big
Last Line: Myself, %muhammad
Subject(s): Ali, Muhammad (cassius Clay); Boxing And Boxers; Sports


NAT KING COLE ON THE AMALFI DRIVE       
First Line: He signs after making the beast with two backs
Last Line: My dahlias rustle, brush. A wink for me, %a smile for me, for me in black and white


NAT TURNER DREAMS OF INSURRECTION       
First Line: Drops of blood on the corn, as dew from heaven
Last Line: I am not a conjurer. Certain marks on my head and breast. %shelter me, great dismal swamp. A green-b


NEONATOLOGY       
First Line: Is %funky, is %leaky, is %a soggy, bloody crotch, is
Last Line: From silence and blood, silence %then everything, %jazz


NINETEEN       
First Line: That summer in culpeper, all there was to eat was white cauliflower
Last Line: The rain sounded just like that,' he said, 'on the roofs there.'


ODE       
First Line: The sky was a street map with stars for house-parties
Last Line: Now dreadlocked vendors sell mechanized monkeys %progammed to beat guaguanco


OMNI-ALBERT MURRAY    Poem Text    
First Line: (three four) the ancestors are humming: write a poem, girl
Subject(s): African Americans; Ellington, Edward Kennedy ('duke'); New York City; Negroes; American Blacks; Manhattan; New York, New York; The Big Apple


OMNI-ALBERT MURRAY       
First Line: (three four) the ancestors are humming: write a poem, girl
Last Line: Omni-albert murray omni omni albert murray
Subject(s): African Americans; Ellington, Edward Kennedy ("duke"); New York City


OPIATE       
First Line: A date with michael jordan proves
Last Line: I wake to a foghorn, opiate of the masses, %no memory of the feel of his dark and lovely skin


ORANGE       
First Line: The doctor has diagnosed cancer, sees
Last Line: That is how you know which ones we are


ORNETTE COLEMAN AND THELONIOUS MONK AT DINNER       
First Line: When people smoked, and it hung over the table like magic
Last Line: Jelly, just what you wanted and all you can eat


OVERTURE: WATERMELON CITY       
First Line: Philadelphia is burning and water
Last Line: To hi-life and zouk, %we burn


PAINTING       
First Line: I've cropped the black hair diego loves
Last Line: I will witness my own cremation %because ash is as lovely as fire


PAPI LINDO VS THE BEAUTIFUL MAN       
First Line: The beautiful one is the ultimate victor
Last Line: Ness, and there you are before me, in a plain %white suit with no buttons, a beautiful man


PARTY       
First Line: Obi had a big ole party
Last Line: Explode, explode, explode, %and the baby inside of me danced


PASSAGE       
First Line: Henry porter wore good clothes for his journey
Last Line: When I can, I'll come for you. I swear, %I'll come for you


PAUL SAYS       
First Line: White people need to get a life
Last Line: Was magical. Afros everywhere. I used to have a butterfly net


PECCANT       
First Line: Maryland state correctional facility for women
Last Line: Where all around me sin and not sin is scraped off tin trays %into oversized sinks, all that excess,


PENMANSHIP       
First Line: I notice older women have better penmanship
Last Line: When gold-foil stars are not enough, nor penmanship?


PIG       
First Line: Held a whole baby pig
Last Line: For word if I should swallow %because it was my dinner


POEM FOR NELSON MANDELA       
First Line: Here where I live it is sunday
Last Line: Daughters. This is philadelphia %and I see this sunday clean
Subject(s): Mandela, Nelson (b. 1918)


POSTPARTUM DREAM #12: APPOINTMENT       
First Line: I answered all
Last Line: To be a good lawyer, the best, %just like my dad


POSTPARTUM DREAM #2: FOLK ART       
First Line: It's me! Discovered in a sleeve
Last Line: Basement walls suddenly bill taylor blue


POSTPARTUM DREAM #8       
First Line: In a hail of bazooka fire they drop
Last Line: Her nipples stand out from here to st. Louis, %unsexy and mighty, full of that much milk


PRAISE SONG FOR THE DAY    Poem Text    
First Line: Each day we go about our business
Last Line: Praise song for walking forward in that light.
Subject(s): Obama, Barack


PRELIMINARY SKETCHES: PHILADELPHIA    Poem Text    
First Line: Fish-man comes with trout and fresh crabs
Last Line: Brother brother brotherly love
Subject(s): Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


PRELIMINARY SKETCHES: PHILADELPHIA       
First Line: Fish-man comes with trout and fresh crabs
Last Line: I'm listening for the philly sound-- %brother brother brotherly love


RACE    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Sometimes I think about great-uncle paul who left tuskegee,
Last Line: Here a poem tells a story, a story about race
Subject(s): African Americans; Negroes; American Blacks


RACE       
First Line: Sometimes I think about great-uncle paul who left tuskegee
Last Line: Here a poem tells a story, a story about race


RADIO DAYS       
First Line: In the movie a latin bandleader
Last Line: I saw jackie robinson hit that ball.'


RANDALL, MARGARET       
First Line: Yes we did 'march around somewhere' and yes it was cold
Last Line: Passing from hand to hand


RECETA CULINARIA       
First Line: Make soup from this:
Last Line: Cilantro to taste


ROBESON AT RUTGERS    Poem Text    
First Line: Hard to picture, but these goliath trees
Subject(s): Robeson, Paul (1898-1976)


ROBESON AT RUTGERS    Poem Text    
First Line: Hard to picture, but these goliath trees
Last Line: From the chemicals paul robeson’s totem face?
Subject(s): Robeson, Paul (1898-1976); Robeson, Paul (1898-1976)


ROBESON AT RUTGERS       
First Line: Hard to picture, but these goliath trees
Last Line: From the chemicals paul robeson's totem face?
Subject(s): Robeson, Paul (1898-1976)


ROLLERBLADE, INC.       
First Line: Ex-husband arrives on rollerblades
Last Line: I think: I have burned my caramel. %I think: rollerblade, inc. A trade man


SABER-TOOTHED       
First Line: What a fabulous living room!
Last Line: Queen of my house, no tiger, %no squirrel, no cockroach, no mouse


STRAVINSKY IN L.A.    Poem Text    
First Line: In white pleated trousers, peering through green
Last Line: Watts, los angeles, aspiration
Subject(s): Watts Towers, Los Angeles (1921-1955)


SUMMERTIME       
First Line: Where we live there are caged peacocks
Last Line: Could bounce to the sky and stick
Subject(s): Baby Boom Generation; Women


THE DIRT-EATERS    Poem Text    
First Line: Tra / dition
Last Line: Of / dirt
Subject(s): African Americans; Negroes; American Blacks


THE FEMALE SEER WILL BURN UPON THIS PYRE    Poem Text    
First Line: Sylvia plath is setting my hair
Last Line: Of burnt hair and bumblebee husks
Subject(s): Plath, Sylvia (1932-1963)


THE VENUS HOTTENTOT    Poem Text    
First Line: Science, science, science!
Last Line: Geometric, deformed, unnatural
Subject(s): Circus; Women - African


TODAY'S NEWS       
First Line: Heavyweight champion of the world mike tyson
Last Line: This is your life. Get up and look for color, %look for color everywhere


TOMATO       
First Line: My friend amy has a jones for pregnant women
Last Line: A million months pregnant, %and her lover is feeding her chocolate, square by square


TONI MORRISON DREAMS: 1       
First Line: Toni morrison despises %conference coffee, so I offer
Last Line: Nuns go by, quiet as lust %everything in silver-gray and black


TONI MORRISON DREAMS: 1.       
First Line: Toni morrison despises
Last Line: Nuns go by as quiet as lust %everything in silver-gray and black


TONI MORRISON DREAMS: 2       
First Line: She does not love %my work, but she loves
Last Line: My baby, tells me %to have many more


TONI MORRISON DREAMS: 2. WORKSHOP       
First Line: She asks us to adapt
Last Line: Oh %the work is hard


TONI MORRISON DREAMS: 3.       
First Line: She does not love
Last Line: To have many more


TONI MORRISON DREAMS: 3. A READING AT TEMPLE UNIVERSITY       
First Line: Love,' she wrote %and 'love' and 'love' and 'love'
Last Line: She whispered it %love


TONI MORRISON DREAMS: 4. A READING AT TEMPLE UNIVERSITY       
First Line: Love, she wrote
Last Line: She whispered it, %love


TOUR GUIDE       
First Line: We have discovered indian cliff dwellings
Last Line: The objects of people who lived here and disappeared. %but we know who was here first. We have photo


UNTITLED       
First Line: If you win a macarthur genius grant
Last Line: Like a simple, well-executed thought


VAN DERZEE       
First Line: I say your name: james van derzee
Last Line: You're drinking ginger ale and scotch


VENUS HOTTENTOT       
First Line: Science, science, science! %everything is beautiful
Last Line: It was shriveled and hard, %geometric, deformed unnatural


VISITATION       
First Line: Pablo neruda still lives in my dream
Last Line: Of course you fall asleep, he says, and waves. %adios carina. You're off to write a poem


VISITOR       
First Line: The city rocks at close of day
Last Line: Vacuum-packed coffee beans, ebony fists, %black soap that lathers up creamy, and white


WAR       
First Line: In the dream there was goo
Last Line: My newest, pulsing word %in a dream where I do not picture enemies


WASHINGTON ETUDE       
First Line: After rain, mushrooms %appear in the park
Last Line: Regard the flare %of blooming stars, %the cicada's maraca


WEST INDIAN PRIMER       
First Line: On the road between spanish town
Last Line: Lamps. I write this west indian primer


WHAT I'M TELLING YOU       
First Line: If I say, my father was betty shabazz's lawyer, the poem can go further
Last Line: Candy, something dim and unspoken, expectation


WHEN       
First Line: In the early nineteen-eighties, the black men
Last Line: Then all the men's faces were spotted


WHO I THINK YOU ARE       
First Line: Empty out your pockets nighttime, daddy
Last Line: Cigar bands and glinting, dimestore lockets
Subject(s): Literary Form


YOUR EX-GIRLFRIEND       
First Line: Is hollering from her new york tenement window
Last Line: Joy is so important, your ex-girlfriend says, and smiles %you've got to keep your life absolutely fu


ZODIAC    Poem Text    
First Line: You kissed me once and now I wait for more
Last Line: Again, I thin. I want you yo kiss me
Subject(s): Kisses


ZODIAC       
First Line: You kissed me once and now I wait for more
Last Line: Again, I think. I want you to kiss me
Subject(s): Literary Form