Arlene Ang & Valerie Fox

Alas, they are drinking there (in the bar)

and work­ing the wait­ress, and froth­ing at the mouth. [1] Also, and, if priests and nuns were friends again, and boys and girls could shoot pen­nies with impuni­ty, Logan Ave. would be much more safe and sane, as it may once have been. [2] If, graf­fi­ti spray sounds and watch-dog barks and the old lady afraid to go out [3] get­ting up from her plas­tic-cov­ered couch and mis­trust­ful of any­one not white, if she could walk about again she might be thought of to be hap­py, [4] she might ask her neigh­bor for a word or some insights. You want insights? Let’s talk here open­ly. I’ll tell you one. I nev­er got over that. [5] Just like him. He nev­er got over this. [6] My life went on like this for some time and I kept notes in a fake bible. [7] Another thing, I was the irri­tat­ing room­mate. The oth­er ones, my room­mates, [8] must have got­ten over it by now, but we can’t say for sure. The cor­ner bar had a name, they all do, they are like a body, every body is somebody’s baby, every street num­ber could be a begin­ning for some­body. [9]

[1] “There are bod­ies and there is the void, in which these bod­ies are and through which they move.” —Lucretius

[2] “… give me that place where I’m erased…” —Jorie Graham, Orpheus and Eurydice

[3] These instances are flexible—the watch-dog spray sounds, old lady barks, graf­fi­ti afraid to go out, etc.

[4] “Ask: can the motion of clouds be known / by the motion of their shad­ows?”  —Karen Carcia, Fragment: DaVinci Notebooks

[5]  Unspecified, apart from the arrival of car­rion birds.

[6]  Again, unspec­i­fied, but the car­rion birds have begun feeding.

[7] “There is much con­cep­tu­al con­fu­sion between the horse­men of the Apocalypse and the Last Prophet; fur­ther evi­dence that the Holy books were writ­ten in col­lab­o­ra­tive fash­ion.” —Josef Assad, The Banjo Players Must Die

[8]  Husband, cat, house plant, cable tv, God.

[9]  Alas, they are all drink­ing in there.


Arlene Ang is the author of The Desecration of Doves (2005), Secret Love Poems (Rubicon Press, 2007), a col­lab­o­ra­tive book with Valerie Fox, Bundles of Letters Including A, V and Epsilon (Texture Press, 2008), and Seeing Birds in Church is a Kind of Adieu (Cinnamon Press, 2010). She lives in Spinea, Italy where she serves as staff edi­tor for The Pedestal Magazine and Press 1.

Valerie Fox’s pre­vi­ous books of poems include The Rorschach Factory (Straw Gate Books, 2006) and Bundles of Letters Including A, V and Epsilon (a com­pi­la­tion with Arlene Ang, She is an edi­tor for Press 1. She teach­es at Drexel University, in Philadelphia, and lives with her fam­i­ly in New Jersey.