Marilyn Annucci photoMarilyn Annucci
is the winner of the 2018 Press 53 Poetry Award; her book, The Arrows That Choose Us, is forthcoming in April 2018. Marilyn is also the author of two chapbooks: Waiting Room, which won the 2012 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize, selected by Tony Hoagland (Hill-Stead Museum, 2012) and Luck (Parallel Press, 2000). Her work has appeared in various journals, including Prairie Schooner, Indiana Review, North American Review, Wisconsin People & Ideas and Antiphon. Her work is also in the 2017 edition of New Poetry from the Midwest (New American Press, 2017). She is a professor in the Department of Languages and Literatures at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater. She can be reached at annuccim@uww.edu.

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Tony Hoagland had this to say about the book: “There’s a wry compassion for the human in all of the various, exquisite poems in this collection. Sometimes the speaker is the one on the cross, or at the crossroads, sometimes it is a stray dog, or a loved one with Parkinson’s. The imagination is our angel, the speaker knows, and language is the unsentimental, inventive, tender genius that makes poems like this possible. Superb work.”


Marilyn Annucci’s work on the web:

Five new poems up on VerseWrights:
versewrights.com/annucci-marilyn.html

“K” broadside from Architrave Press

By the Banks of the Daintree River”

“The Smallest Bones”

“Final Notations”

The Indexer”

”Houdini Escapes the Time Capsule”

“Ghost Writer’s Apprentice”

The Stray Dogs of Mexico

One crosses the street, ribs
like ladder rungs leaning

inside him. I want to climb
to God, ask and ask.

The streets are full
of crushed plastic bottles.

The mountain air has left us
winded. On the coast

we sit in open huts, wear
flip flops to the shore,

each grain of sand a small fire
dogs run across. Desperate

with thirst, one sips from the sea.
They are the poorest of the poor,

tails down, unable even
to pour themselves water.

“We are all stray dogs,” someone says.
But we’re not.

I fill a small cup, set it before one
who drinks without stopping.

Wrecked World

Your dishpan is quiet as a pond,
all the white ambition
shrunk to mild foam. You

have been away too long,
cups and plates tilt like glaciers.
Man: the toppler of worlds.

You wedge your hand
between what shifts
and slides, methodically

descend, layer by cool
layer, until your fingers crawl
along the smooth bottom,

amphibian.
This is where the knives lie,
mute battleships gone down

on their sides. How wonderful
to find them unaware
and then to pull one, nose

up, and up
until it hangs in the stunned air—
wrecker in a wrecked world.

Were you wrong to dredge it up?—
Is there not meat to cut, and pie?
Wrong to pour warm water

down the long length of its side,
to place it in the company of spoons,
which seem so soft, yet do not lie;

when you hold the knife
before one oblong eye—
concave or convex,

right-side up or upside down—
you see how the blade stretches
from your head to heart,

so much bigger than you thought.