Two Poems | Angela Ball

 Soliciting Aid From Passerby


The goddess didn’t present
Her card.  “Keep this
At all times,” she didn’t say.

 The woman was once protected by the FBI
Who replaced her with a simple disguise
That swept the lust of the extortionist.

No one was helping her in Old Mexico
When Gastón with his head in her lap
Looked up and said,

“Boy and girlfriend for one night”
In Spanish.  That was forty years ago.
“I am Panglossian,” he said. “To put it


Later, he rang reception to ask for a pillow.
Violins played from a speaker in the wall
And followed him to the door
Through which he slipped
Like Liquidman.

When she is not dreaming,
And not led far and wide by what
She cannot quite hear, surely
It is only the goddess
Of mend and repair, her army of victims
Reopening one another.




Imagine Lasting romantic capitulation


man achingly nice
Goes back where he came from:
A cow-shaped country known for topography
And precise lettuce.  The adjacency
of a delicate ocean.  WAIT.
The thin lens magnifies optical effects and simplifies ray-tracing calculations.
A small device enlarges
Men in other countries.
They feel only a tingling or
Slight dizziness
That makes them fall unprofoundly in love
In air, distances are related by means of this formula.
Once during the night when projected into Paris
Against your knowledge, bump against
Several nice men—all at random–
And be swept like recollection
To the glowing cabs for drives
Throughout the city, which as it turns out
Is really a machine fighting the boredom
Of cycles, cleanliness,





Angela Ball’s most recent book is Night Clerk at the Hotel of Both Worlds, winner of the Donald Hall Prize from the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.  She is currently the Moorman Distinguished Professor of English in the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, where she lives with her two dogs, Scarlet and Miss Bishop, and a cat, Frank O’Hara.






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