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  • Phone 414.263.5001
  • Hours Tue-Fri 11-8pm | Sat-Sun 12-5pm | Closed Mon
  • Hours Tue-Fri 11-8pm, Sat-Sun 12-5pm, Closed Mon
Event Calendar
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film & video
November 17

aCinema presents Spatial Corrections

readings & workshops
November 19

Poetry Reading: Santee Frazier & Franklin K.R. Cline

readings & workshops
November 21

Offsite Talk: Native American Identity & the Politics of the Poetic Image 

readings & workshops
December 3

Ultimate Truth Poetry Reading and Book Release

readings & workshops
December 6

Heddy Keith author of Through it All

readings & workshops
December 9

Poetry Reading: Tonya M. Foster & Samiya Bashir

performances
December 10

Alternating Currents Live presents Nicole Mitchell Quartet

special events
January 27 -28

24th Annual Poetry Marathon & Benefit

Emily Warn

Emily Warn is a poet, essayist, teacher, and technologist who most recently served as founding editor of poetryfoundation.org. Born in San Francisco and raised in Michigan, she is the author of three books of poetry:The Leaf Path (1982),The Novice Insomniac(1996) and Shadow Architect (2008). Her essays and poems appear widely, including in Poetry, BookForum,Blackbird, Parabola, The Forward, Narrative, The Seattle Times, and The Writers' Almanac. She taught creative writing at Lynchburg College and The Bush School, and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She currently divides her time between Seattle and Twisp, Washington.

Selected Poems

Ox Herding Lesson


Emily Warn

 

The road bends away
               from the sea,
                            meandering
through salt meadow hay.
You walk along singing
               on the road of white sand
                            dug from the marsh,
the sea a hushed roar in the distance
where the forge of waves
                          levels the sand,
spilling its molten silver
              at the sandpipers' feet
                           that scurry, jotting it all down.

Just ahead of you on the road
is an egret, perfectly still,
              perfectly white
and shaped like a lamed,
the only letter with its top
                         in the clouds,
the only letter that leans
            like marsh grass,
one eye cocked on ditch water,
             the other on clouds—
                          white feathers,
                                       aloft yet earthbound.

The egret is dwarfed by salt marsh,
              which stretches far, far
                                                     away,
a wind-flattened white sea of grass
with islands of scraggly myrtles
                                                     rising
from it. And dwarf cedars whose outer needles burn
                          to protect the living sap.

Egrets can stand so still among reeds
                            that fish mistake their legs for grass.
Why then is this one in the road
             when ditches on either side teem
                                           with minnows?

You sit down on hot gravel to ask
                                         and hear
the egret listening to you
              pierce and swallow
                            the atmosphere of fishes and clouds.