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Author: BANG, MARY JO
Matches Found: 141


Bang, Mary Jo    Poet's Biography
141 poems available by this author


& THERE HE KEPT HER, VERY WELL       
First Line: Harsh orange, dull burn
Last Line: Look-- %it's hecate, a torch in each hand
Variant Title(s): & There He Kept Her Very Wel


A CAKE OF NINETEEN SLICES    Poem Text    
First Line: She was aware of the alarm
Last Line: A real of no real appeal
Subject(s): Cakes; Nature; Reality


A HURRICRANIUM, HE SAID    Poem Text    
First Line: Rain on the outside, horror on the in


ANA OF BLISS       
First Line: The risk of proximity is always
Last Line: Over acres of break-heart slate


AND AS IN ALICE    Poem Text    
First Line: Alice cannot be in the poem, she says, because
Subject(s): Metaphor; Similes


ANOTHER SURGERY / I SHOULD BE PREPARED BY NOW       
Last Line: Pass me the specimen - that warm souvenir-- %words, floating in a blood-tinged bath
Subject(s): Healing


APOLOGY FOR WANT       
First Line: I've worried far too much about the eye
Last Line: Sends us out dressed in ragged tulle, but won't tell %where it last buried the acorn or bone


ASHES       
First Line: Under snow, the park is monotone
Last Line: And had seen the light-- %if he didn't love her by now, he never would


AUTOPSY       
First Line: How bare the soul--unmasked, deveined
Last Line: And the mildly curious have all come %to watch. You bloom in this forest of white


BACK FROM BEDLAM       
First Line: You've come riding back from bedlam on a half-starved horse
Last Line: Leaving me to finger the gluey, thin threads of a spider's web %and pocket the folded notes I find h


BARTOK IN THE SCULPTURE GARDEN       
First Line: Bows like swords impaling air, lit windows
Last Line: A second time--four metronomes--& gash %the night


BEAUTIES OF NATURE       
First Line: She'd grown tired, she admitted, %of the picturesque
Last Line: Pool of all the gone beloveds. %one by one %she held them under


BECKETT REMEMBERED       
First Line: On the train platform, people wave
Subject(s): Beckett, Samuel (1906-1989)


BECKETT REMEMBERED       
First Line: On the train platform, people wave
Subject(s): Beckett, Samuel (1906-1989)


BEGIN HERE       
First Line: O onion, o open, o equal-eyed quail egg %with swell yellow lake
Last Line: From a growing alert. %magnanimous this. %and kindling. %and tinder


BEHIND THIS PASSION       
First Line: Through small but audacious acts of theft
Last Line: Course the ragged card stock, become %a noisy rorschach, dark mirror facing out


CAFE EDGAR       
First Line: It's madness: white peonies, bird of paradise
Last Line: We wake to sleep. This is the bread: body, soul, %exquisite tenderness. We are all we have


CAKE OF NINETEEN SLICES       
First Line: She was aware of the alarm
Last Line: A real of no real appeal
Subject(s): Cakes; Nature; Reality


CALIBAN       
First Line: Forgive me. What I took was an arm, a hand
Last Line: With something that's hidden: transform, %transfigure me
Subject(s): Bodies


CASE OF ASYMMETRY       
First Line: In this case, the right eye sees better than the left yet not enough
Last Line: Poor eye, she said, from the off-center door of her head


CATASTROPHE THEORY II    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: The foot goes forward, yes.
Subject(s): Science; Scientists


CATASTROPHE THEORY III    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Now we sit and play with a tiny toy
Subject(s): Loss


CHICAGO       
First Line: On the 44th floor, plate glass against night
Last Line: I am unfallen. The world without me %has rarely seemed this clear


CLAIRVOYANT       
First Line: Whose face doesn't fall? Cruel mockery
Last Line: I am the earth, quartz-fret and sparks of salt. %I will be pressed against. Known


COMPLICATIONS OF MORNING       
First Line: Here we have the blankness of endings
Last Line: He says, good-luck, with your minuscule condition


CONSTANT BRIDE       
First Line: Do you understand the concept? The marvel? Tender at the neck
Last Line: From which to choose: sleep and may she never wake


CRACKED JAR CALLED CAN IT BE TAUGHT?       
First Line: After ten years of seeking, light was thrown
Last Line: It cannot be taught


CROSSED-OVER, FIEND-SNITCHED, X-ED OUT       
First Line: O sweetie, o hon, in this weather-split sea pea
Last Line: Comes to mind, the reek of lilac and laburnum


DARK SMUDGED THE PATH UNTRAMMELED    Poem Text    
First Line: The room was warm, sugar sweet, and wormwood bitter
Subject(s): Separation


DAY TWO OF A NEW BEAR       
First Line: Steam lisps from the crack where the continuing broke
Last Line: You'll know a dismantling by the refuse it leaves %the slope by the slant of its bill


DEATH AND THE MAIDEN       
First Line: He holds me high. His arms, his arms. %this is what
Last Line: Perfect seduction-rokee rokee- %o let him see


DEFINITELY    Poem Text    
First Line: What is desire
Subject(s): Desire


DESERT ON HAND       
First Line: Love is also fragment: the cheek
Last Line: The elevated %tor, unbreakable oath


DOES MRS. HUNT TEAR LINEN STRAIGHT AS EVER?       
First Line: Louise, lying half-dressed on a hideabed, said
Last Line: For god's sake, let us sit upon the ground'


DOG BARK       
First Line: Louise peered into the corner of the cabinet
Last Line: To be alive, and refused to let it be altered


DOLL       
First Line: In the dream there'd been difficulty
Last Line: We spent the night in a place called small pleasure


DOWNSTREAM EXTREMITY OF THE ISLE OF SWANS       
First Line: In the window a jacket cried wear me, wear me
Last Line: See. And who would know it had ever been?


ELECTRA DREAMS       
First Line: Night is when I give you new clothes
Last Line: To call love by a name other than vengeance


ELEGY       
First Line: The eye isn't everything
Last Line: Into knotgrass and bindweed, %eddy and ash


ELEMENTS OF STYLE       
First Line: First, I'm delicate--
Last Line: In grosgrain and difficult. %beautiful


END, AND SOMETIME LATER       
First Line: Here, my pretty, lay %your head upon this pillow, press
Last Line: Forever, fixed. Fastidious %in a painted faint


ENVY AND AVARICE       
First Line: One wants a red sky at night
Last Line: And getting it all wrong


ERA       
First Line: Of some reveller reeving through
Last Line: Oh, no. He wouldn't lie


EYE LIKE A STRANGE BALLOON MOUNTS TOWARD INFINITY       
First Line: We were going toward nothing
Last Line: And then the curtain drops


FALL       
First Line: What brought me here to walk a room's periphery
Last Line: Bright night of distance. My father continues to play %although I am paradise leaving him


FALLING OUT       
First Line: She loved the lyric lines that formed the house
Last Line: The symbolic and sorry


FEBRUARY ELEGY    Poem Text    
First Line: This bald year, frozen now in february.
Subject(s): Death - Children; Death - Babies


FIRST ROOM IS A WOMAN       
First Line: Stethoscope in my coat pocket--a coiled snake--
Last Line: I laud their easy access, their utility %as conduit, groove. And road


FOOT HOOKED       
First Line: Pity the poor rabbit and the man with the monocle
Last Line: All lies are alike


FROM A NEW PLACE       
First Line: In answer to your question: yes
Last Line: Wanting no one here %to see the worn, the ragged, the missing


GIRLS DRESS WELL TO STAVE OFF CHAOS       
First Line: To stop is to cave
Last Line: Flung stones, rattled chains, shaved men


GIVEN TO BELIEVE       
First Line: It was taste, wasn't it? The sharp bite of the bad apple
Last Line: She lay near the sea she weeped. She said she %and her love were one and two. The sea was three and


GRANITE CITY, MONTANA       
First Line: A ghost town begs you to stare--
Last Line: Poised over dark earth, %brighter blood, belated warning: it is over


GRETEL       
First Line: Mother, I am bare in a mist-mad forest
Last Line: Forsworn, to grasp with wet hands the cold %metal of life, then find a way to let go


HAM PAINTS A PICTURE TO ILLUSTRATE AN EARLY LESSON: O TRAUMA!       
First Line: He remembered the dog bite. The door
Last Line: Love-oh, what a word!


HARBOR       
First Line: Where she finds hot and haze, a thin man crossing a street
Last Line: O the idea of order. It will be seen through


HEAD-HEAVY ON ITS SNAKESTALK, THE TULIP       
First Line: Agile in motion-but glacial, too syrup to see
Last Line: But never loses control. Or leans, and falls. %then rises. No, rose. No end


HERE'S A FINE WORD: PRETTIPLEASE       
First Line: Mrs. Donna spoke, saying it was all very clear
Last Line: You'll be easy to love. He said, lie down, and I did


HOLY GRAIL       
First Line: If it were simple, would we have come?
Last Line: Bodies absorb the damp ricochet %of a pigeon trapped against glass


HOW BEAUTIFUL    Poem Text    
First Line: A personal lens: glass bending rays


HOW TO LEAVE A PRAIRIE       
First Line: Don't worry, the moon will rise
Last Line: Lawn orb and tractor. Let a woman sob %at a window--silhouetted, otherworldly


IF WISHES WERE HORSES       
First Line: That the wound had never been
Last Line: Airy nothings, making promises: hay and a bed %in the stable, if only


IN A SPACIOUS CHAMBER       
First Line: She pressed herself against him. %she was close
Last Line: On and in while she was the patience of skin %becoming the picture of having


IN ORDER NOT TO BE ETEN NOR ALL TO TORNE       
First Line: The elevator mirror tells me nothing, not how
Last Line: Push them aside. They must be held--but surely %you know this--by their ears


IN THE BOOK OF ALL THAT'S BEFALLEN       
First Line: There were one hundred eighteen miniatures
Last Line: All had befallen, and someone was sobbing


IN THIS BUSINESS OF TOUCH AND BE TOUCHED       
First Line: It's overdetermined, the body--
Last Line: The shrouded want of cheek and shoulder %that arms can't reach, throat refuses to ask


IT SAYS, I DID SO       
First Line: A plaid is formed of yellow block and black
Last Line: These are not artificial tears


IT'S WINTER IN THE EYE, AND LIKE OPHELIA       
First Line: The long bones lay her down %until indigo dawn slivers sleep from her spent eye
Last Line: Does she not know herself? %every petty artery


KISS, KISS, SAID LOUISE BY WAY OF A PAY PHONE       
First Line: To the other who'd been left behind
Last Line: It's a fantastic sea where nothing but nothing can save us


L EQUALS LOOK    Poem Text    
First Line: At a book of details


LIKE A FIRE IN A FIRE       
First Line: They were difficult to find. It was summer so
Last Line: Of shoulder with faint smell of soap


LIKE SPIDERS, STEP BY STEP       
First Line: We're moving duchess, or so it seems
Last Line: Covers years of shamed wear %and loss is now what you live with


LOOK AGAIN       
First Line: I'm on the ferry between dover and calais
Last Line: He makes a perfect pirouette for the camera, %and somebody captures the back of his head


LOUISE IN LOVE       
First Line: Much had transpired in the phantom realm
Last Line: Dainty wile, frayed thing, %fish hook


LOUISE SIGHS, SUCH A LONG WINTER, THIS    Poem Text    
First Line: Stone basin, stone breath, stone bric-a-brac
Subject(s): Parties; Winter


LOUISE SIGHS, SUCH A LONG WINTER, THIS       
First Line: Stone basin, stone breath, stone bric-a-brac
Last Line: The five fluid ounce flask has gone missing
Subject(s): Parties; Winter


MAX ERNST AND DOROTHEA TANNING       
First Line: Listen, here, as always, there are links
Last Line: We don't blink. We stay stopped


METAPHOR AS SYMPTOM OF REASON'S DESPAIR       
First Line: I took the bus home just to be near a neighborhood
Last Line: In snow, impelled by a grammar that cannot be heard. %fog on the car window, veil over nothing at al


MOTHER       
First Line: You are the tapeworm
Last Line: Dutiful daughter, %I feel you swell with pride


MOUTH IN CLARITY       
First Line: Is criminal to itself: add to silence the human
Last Line: Of a choice: dull love or love- %ly opulence. O flamingo


MRS. AUTUMN AND HER TWO DAUGHTERS       
First Line: We live in an ocean
Last Line: You are wrong she says. You don't wear your cape


NIGHT SONG       
First Line: Night sings to me through my wrists
Last Line: Moves mutely through me: %subcutaneum, pericranium, blood and bone


NO TALKING       
First Line: No talking in the grass, only persistent scars
Last Line: Hands spill the pond water. Nothing can be grasped. %why indelible hunger? Why insatiable need?


NONESUCH       
First Line: It's meaning we're looking for
Last Line: There is a garden under this one, %a lover there of whom you're sure


NOVEL IN THREE CHAPTERS       
First Line: The subway mouse crackled the wrapper
Last Line: It was clearly a bargain, clearly a good buy


ON THE SUBJECT OF CONJURING       
First Line: Firstly: asking is an act of harmony, an impertinence purring
Last Line: Earthly: I know things


ON THIS LATE STAGE       
First Line: She said, it's true, my turtle dove, trucks do roll
Last Line: She knows us not at all


OPEN HEART SURGERY       
First Line: I watched as one man's heart filled the hand
Last Line: Was whispering in my ear: circle one. %you were made for something bitter, bitter, better


OPHELIA       
First Line: She should have brought a book to read
Last Line: Dressed in khaki and daffodil, o waited


ORACLE       
First Line: I listen to warnings. A distant ping may be an avalanche
Last Line: You know what will happen. %you'll abandon the crops, repair the mountain again


ORIGIN OF THE IMPULSE TO SPEAK       
First Line: From physical grace, gradually refusing any but relative
Last Line: Happiness. Prophet of keeping quiet


PACKING THE HEART    Poem Text    
First Line: The evil of exactitude is that a ledge is so wide
Last Line: Of course, but no more
Subject(s): Evil


PACKING THE HEART       
First Line: The evil of exactitude is that a ledge is so wide
Last Line: Pure; I am dead, I cannot allow myself to be so used. A little, of course, %of course, but no more
Subject(s): Evil


PEAR AND O, AN OPERA       
First Line: They kept us thin, but o when the treats came!
Last Line: A chorus singing how happy they were. %how happy could they be


PERSEPHONE LEAVING       
First Line: She's picking flowers, meadow goldenrod
Last Line: To look at him--seven pomegranate seeds clutched %in her hand and the always ravenous hunger


PILGRIMAGE       
First Line: I wonder what you would think
Last Line: Of fireworks. (brittle you were, yes, %but so lovely.)


POEM       
First Line: Could you please hold that mirror
Last Line: The light of the world


RAVEN FEEDS REYNARD       
First Line: Seeded yeast in her beak and bending
Last Line: Every peril paired with it's opposite %until


REAL TIME       
First Line: Made of brown bakelite, this clock is different
Last Line: With whom I spend the endless nights. Begs me to name %the beating heart, in the tigerwood box just


REIGN OF UNREASON       
First Line: The year's end: a period
Last Line: The garments they wore, fripperies of holly bough. %how fortunate we'll be then, how purely defined


RENUNCIATION OF DREAMS AND SUCH    Poem Text    
First Line: The night you wandered in the wrong direction
Last Line: For the treason of warmth
Subject(s): Dreams; Nightmares


RENUNCIATION OF DREAMS AND SUCH       
First Line: The night you wandered in the wrong direction
Last Line: And temperature - in a system where zero stands %for the treason of warmth
Subject(s): Dreams


RIVER UP, RISING       
First Line: Don't you love the east gate, the way it opens
Last Line: You are floating with disaster


SCREEN DOOR SLAMS       
First Line: We leave my brother's red toy tractor
Last Line: Of my mother's skirt, %whisper, I wasn't


SHE COULDN'T SING AT ALL, AT ALL       
First Line: Louise said. No subtle cadences capturing birdnote
Last Line: Someone singing 'sometimes a bun, sometimes only a %biscuit'


SLOW DANCER       
First Line: These are difficult times. Your beloved won't speak
Last Line: Dance with someone who calls himself sadness. %when night arrives soundless--nestle against him


SMALL HOSPITAL FOR THE INSANE       
First Line: How fierce the latch looks but motion is hope
Last Line: As example to us all. How safe it is to be gone


SO THIS       
First Line: So, this is reality-a ghostscape in the afternoon
Last Line: A frond. A tangle of twos. A terrible knot


SPEECH IS DESIGNED TO PERSUADE    Poem Text    
First Line: Here we are, my dear, so near we could touch
Subject(s): Togetherness


SPEECH IS DESIGNED TO PERSUADE       
First Line: Here we are, my dear, so near we could touch
Last Line: Let the bell for waking keep breaking in


STAR'S WHOLE SECRET       
First Line: Did she drink tea? Yes, please. And after
Last Line: And the lavish wick, breathless in the remnant %of a fire


STILL KNIFE STILL SUSPENDED       
First Line: From where she sat she could see
Last Line: By a kitten was just then released and ran by


STONE, MONTANA       
First Line: It's time for the feasting that follows the four men it took
Last Line: Aloofness is stone. So said, the heroes all applaud, and wildly


THE DIARY OF A LOST GIRL    Poem Text    
First Line: Four diphtheria deaths, then fire, now five named lakes


THE EYE LIKE A STRANGE BALLOON MOUNTS TOWARD INFINITY    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: We were going toward nothing


THE MEDICINAL COTTON CLOUDS COME DOWN TO COVER THEM    Poem Text    
First Line: To smother their smallness
Subject(s): Love - Erotic


THE PENGUIN CHIAROSCURO    Poem Text    
First Line: The acrobat on the rosinback circled the track


THE ROLE OF ELEGY    Poem Text    
Subject(s): Masks; Tragedy


THIS SUPPOSED ALCHEMY    Poem Text    
First Line: What you took was: an arm, a hand, a face
Last Line: It no longer meets
Subject(s): Absence; Alchemy & Alchemists; Love; Separation; Isolation


THIS SUPPOSED ALCHEMY       
First Line: What you took was: an arm, a hand, a face
Last Line: The check will always be proffered, but the seam, %it no longer meets
Subject(s): Absence; Alchemy And Alchemists; Love


THREE PARTS OF AN X       
First Line: Of course I'm afraid
Last Line: And how much fun %could that be? Tsk. Tsk


THREE TREES    Poem Text    
First Line: The aqua green goes with the pink
Subject(s): Trees


THREE TREES       
First Line: The aqua green goes with the pink
Last Line: There, there, says someone


TO DANCE THE TARANTELLA       
First Line: There will always be those who wear a felt hat
Last Line: Take off your felt hat, I beg you


TOUR OF THE MARCH EQUINOX       
First Line: Above the water, a filament of bright light unhinges air
Last Line: Through the pinhole, tell me, what do you see?


TRAVEL IS EASY BY TRAIN       
First Line: Don't you love a narrow corridor? Ham asked. Only one way
Last Line: The new, louise said, blasphemes. You know it does


TWILIGHT AMNESIA       
First Line: Born of bonehouse and charnel, from forgive
Last Line: An untender beginning. I cannot, nor would I %give back what's been given


UNTITLED        Recitation by Author
Subject(s): Death - Children; Death - Babies


USES OF RESTRAINT       
First Line: The porch is gray--midway between flint
Last Line: Taped to a white metal door: bread, %milk. Lamb, with a red line through it


WAKING IN ANTIBES       
First Line: The sea dazes itself at our feet while we break
Last Line: We'll rise, leaving nothing behind, no dirt clods, %no mourners. The sea will be, as we left it


WHAT WAS SEEN       
First Line: Who wouldn't have grown into longing
Last Line: Enormous horror, brigand slaughter. The end. The end


WHAT WITHIN       
First Line: In this sober domain, the first girl's name was cookie
Last Line: I'm made of wood, she said, and warp


WHEN APRIL WAS BEGINNING, AND END       
First Line: April was marching to an easy puppet beat. Slow vernal birth
Last Line: In april's court, you talk-sure-but she don't listen


WHEN MEETING BEAUTY       
First Line: What must we do?
Last Line: Upon? Now, back to the exhausted topic


WHEN THE WEATHER CHANGES TO WARM, THE BOYS DRIVE SHIRTLESS    Poem Text    
First Line: Their cigarettes wasting to nought
Last Line: And trembling, death and the endless expanse
Subject(s): Change; Driving & Drivers; Weather


WHEN THE WEATHER CHANGES TO WARM, THE BOYS DRIVE SHIRTLESS       
First Line: Their cigarettes wasting to nought
Last Line: That is not an event
Subject(s): Change; Driving And Drivers; Weather


WHERE SNOW FALLS       
First Line: Finally, simple
Last Line: No one here is ever lost; nothing %cannot be won


YEAR CHASES ITS TAIL       
First Line: When it's april in the eye, it's december elsewhere
Last Line: Some called it time, others argued, compulsion


YOU KNOW    Poem Text    
First Line: You know, don't you, what we're doing here?


YOU WERE YOU ARE ELEGY    Poem Text    
First Line: Fragile like a child is fragile
Subject(s): Love; Loss


YOU'RE WALKING ON BLUE STONE SIDEWALKS AND,       
First Line: Here they come, the two boys, pssibility and his pally, disaster
Last Line: P. Turns and implores, mabo for three? D. Countermands, or- %the mordant air, the beach seat, the se