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issue 6: summer 2004
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Anthony Hawley





Notes: "The P(r)etty Sonnets"

About a year ago, I started writing a group of poems that were small, consisting of roughly fourteen lines, and had to do with "petty" matters--spatially, temporally, or linguistically. They had an air of lightness to them. Eventually a group of ten grew to a group of twenty and so on. I limited myself to fifteen lines and, usually, a short period of time to write. I've always been interested in series and I had just finished one of a very different, very percussive nature. When working on the P.S.'s Spicer and his magazine poems have always been close to mind: writing something for a person or thing that will never read it. The poems do not GO anywhere and are often self-deriding, subverting what might otherwise be pretty.




from The P(r)etty Sonnets




Some little robot yawns
You keep wanting it to speak a phrase
Robot's voice turns husky
Octave deeper
Some little robot you say
Switch it off
All broken promises you say
Palate begs repair, though strangely
Articulation is too new
For you, robot
Wills statement
Bespeaks wilting equipment
What am I for if not
A door to rapture







As if this were not about to break
As if from the cracked pitcher
Birds did not fly out
As if across the window they seldom cast their shadow
As if not the goose
Than who
Would last this
Winter in which there is too much
As if this winter would have us walk across it
As if I have not once cast a single shadow
As if a shadow were not allowed
As if the new snow wouldn't have
Sound of a pitcher about to break
Sound of a headache





Anthony Hawley's poems have appeared in 3rd bed, 26, Denver Quarterly, Paris Review, New Republic, and more are forthcoming elsewhere. He is the author of two chapbooks of poetry, Vocative, from Phylum Press, and Afield, forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse.

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