Phoebe Wilcox – Three poems

Lone_Novelist_reads_among_PoetsPhoebe Wilcox has published two books, a novel, Angels Carry the Sun, and a poetry chapbook, Recidivist (each published by Lilly Press in 2010). Angels Carry the Sun was nominated for both the PEN/Faulkner Award the Pushcart Prize. Her short stories have been thrice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She was also the 2012 winner of the Gertrude Stein Poetry Prize awarded by Wilderness House Literary Review.


Driving Home from Work,
and then a Crackpot Show on TV

The road is scabbed and pockmarked,
wounded by winter.
Jagged chunks of black snow
are giant decayed teeth.
What ogre came with fisted hand
to beat upon the innocent land?
Was it you, God?
Do you make this weather?
The crystals that adhere
and the raindrops that fall?
–And the mysterious patterns
that weave themselves
like skidding cars through our
car crash lives?

What’s it all about, man?

Is the TV right?
-That there are Nazis living under the ice
of Antarctica
waiting for the perfect moment
to teleport themselves
backward or forward in time
as suits their master plan and lust for power?
–I did not know that
Nazis invented the flying saucer!–
I hear the TV murmur
about secret government files
from the living room while I cook.
Little nuggets of implausibility
float around me and the kids.

Armies proselytize
to skeptics.

I am
as yet


But dinner
is served.



Ode to a Hot Flash

It’s like being a red hibiscus flower
on a dog day afternoon in August,
a record-breaking day,
a day for loosened hydrants,
crime waves,
love–excessive sweat-saturated love,

each petal aflame
in a greenhouse of molten gold,
on the flaming crust of the sun.

–It’s like barbecuing chicken on the crust of the sun.

I’m hot.
You’re hot.
We’re all hot.


I’m hot.


The Planet of Missing Things

Missing socks do not go behind the dryer
or up inside pant legs.
They go to the Planet of Missing Things.
An exploratory mission there would reveal
Orchards of cashmere trees ripe for the picking,
Hedges of baby booties,
Fields of bumper crop coat buttons and pennies.
We’d find a local populous paying their bus fares
With earrings we thought the vacuum got.
And city architects designing glistening skyscrapers
of pens and half-drunk water bottles.
A cathedral’s valted ceiling decorated with
thoudands upon thousands of keys,
the pews roamed by a cat or dog
unclaimed by the reader of a classified ad,
while in the park,
the so-called lost hearts,
of every lover who ever loved,
looking just like glints of gold in the trees.


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