Annie Baker

I’ve explained this before
cut this line & the one before
cut — a metaphor & a beautiful sweater

Anyway, george bush the first is drowning
has drowned — Let’s get on with
the poem: I trip over the sky

I am, she says, hideous
language, she says drinks
double IPAs like chainmail

Even his spanish birds, who have
paid dearly, roast in mount etna
sad face — i don’t want to burn

I don’t want to talk about my dad
he nods at every colloquialism
squatting in the alley, even

His students have paid dearly
do you have a story to tell
storyteller? stonecutter?

Worth it?
to manipulate
our constitution?

Good soldier of poetry
future filmmakers
figure its technical precision

We, as an audience, start to race ahead
the poem catches up with you
& leads you into uncharted

Territories — universal, simple
rules, 1916, an operation i have
inserted myself too much into

Biology. they will never make
a great poem — the die reads
four — just reads. 1,000-year-

Old poetry. the creation of the world
neither earth was yet there
who made midgar? the matchless

Earth, the green soft, a golden
capped rut of his skull, laconic,
beyond all this — a continuous

Story. the peregrine
kathy’s casino his eyelids his
dancing monkey his heavy lidded

Return to the colony
there’s an old joke
define the clan

I tip over the
vending machine
nothing comes out

But the woman
pushed it over & by god
the thing was done — a spark!

It’s a light. how patient
we are all here. yr voice
is so small and sweet.

Three Short Poems



Nearly noon —
    Rain falling out of the sky
        Planes and birds horizontal, then not.


Not quite summer —
    River along an aluminum gutter
        Where is the house sparrow?


Grey day —
    Courtyard blanketed with teeth
        Love slips down one's throat.