Category Archives: Lisa Williams

I’m Taxed, And I Mean That Literally And Figuratively

I just got done filing my taxes; pardon me while I bury my heart in yonder godforsaken patch of stony earth,  where nothing will ever grow again. [Too much?] To quote “Raising Arizona”: “Gov’ment sure do take a bite, don’t she?” 

I would say “Bite me, government,” except that I am a lady.

I’m going to join a militia. Taxes-shmaxes. Banana-fana-fo-faxes.

MILITIA PERSONAGE: Who be you, up here in the north woods, young whippersnapper?
ME: Just call me “Treasury’s Bane”.


Did you know that you can get a tax break for “river edge re-development”?

Hot dog!


So! How about those pirates, huh? CBS cut in with a Special News Report during the Masters on Sunday afternoon [the Masters, which I was watching with my family, and yes: I was completely emotionally invested in the outcome of the Masters after watching for approximately five minutes]. The juxtaposition between golf and drama on the high seas was nearly too much for us to collectively handle. And can we talk about how often we all got to see the phrase high seas this past week? You could practically see newsanchorpersons smacking their lips with joy as they reported on the story:


That night, on the news, we watched as a Captain of some sort admiringly discussed the “three clean shots to the head” performed by the snipers. He ended his interview with: “Happy Easter!”

Oh, how we laughed!


I just found out that an artichoke is a flower. Holy cats! Did everybody else know this?


Is it just me, or does this look like a plant that…eats people?

I’m sorry that this blog is super short and weird.

It’s just that I’ve been really tired for about six months now.

Sheer Columns

How do we know it’s not matter that matters
but matter’s absence, elegies of matter

like air between the columns of these trees:
not lines of wood but lines of air between

the trunks’ sticks, the thin spaces that aren’t wood,
clear stalks grown up beside the sold lines,

those breezy hollows filled with non-existence?
I’ve seen what happens to a body’s absence:

grief fills up an arid space that grows
bleak, empty channels reaching for the light

then fading to a watery, sheer background
like the space between these trees night’s

flimsy winds tilt slightly. –Lines of air.
Maybe the real trees shouldn’t matter

more than their surrounding stalks of air.
Let’s see both trees and space for what they are:

a grove of roseate fading, dusky columns
showing us how wooden trunks defer

to lines of gray-pink, dimmed, dividing light
clear emptiness curves over. Who’s to say

the mingled light and shadow stalks that grow
between trees as trees waver out of view

at dusk, aren’t the best evidence of trees?
If things are always outlined by the space

around them, isn’t absence what they are?
Shouldn’t we treasure those sheer columns more?

Lisa Williams


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Filed under Lisa Williams, Poetry, Stirring World Events

Poets Should Attempt To Look Like Hayden Carruth

Readin’ some po’ms t’other day [okay, I’ll stop], I was very much struck by a picture of a poet named Hayden Carruth.


The following are poems written by Hayden Carruth:

“Emergency Haying”

“Abandoned Ranch, Big Bend”

And best of all:

“Bears at Raspberry Time” 

[I didn’t read that one, but I can’t imagine that bears showing up at raspberry time could be good for anyone, could you?]

I would like very much for poets to look like Hayden Carruth. Like they went out to an emergency haying and hayed away and came home at dusk with chaff-cut hands and ate bread and drank water and they weren’t out hob-nobbing at a Man-hattan party with the borgeoiuse and things*, you know what I’m sayin’?

*I’m really really not a Communist

**Not sure about Hayden


I went to a party on Central Park West once. The person holding the party was a collector of modern art. When you entered the apartment, you were given a handout, which guided you through the pieces he had mounted in his home. There were hors ‘doeuvres. I was 22 and  I ate as many of them as I could because I was poor.


Do you have any idea how long it took me to spell “hors d’oeuvres” correctly just then?


 This is a picture of Elizabeth Bishop.


ELIZABETH BISHOP: I’m a really good poet


Bridgid got me “Words In Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop” for my birthday. In one letter to Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop writes:

“It is pouring and the sea is raging. Lota…is writing hard in one room and I in another.”

I think that sounds nice.


Did everyone see that beautiful “conjunction”, as they say, of the crescent moon and Venus on Friday night? O it was beautiful.

It’s too bad that the surface of Venus is covered in clouds in sulfuric acid.

Metaphor alert!


On Saturday afternoon I found some rolls of film–and an instant camera–that I hadn’t developed, and decided to play the game called

Let’s Drop These Puppies Off At Walgreens And See What Happens




I made myself a circle, then a square.
I made a box too small for him to open
and then a portal which, from anywhere,
displayed the magnitude of my affection.

Once full of pliant roundnesses and curves,
his private tapestry, I made a skin
tight as a drum, impervious to pain,
and drew this on as if to stop an army,

then turned into a blossom on a plain,
rose-like and fragrant, luring him to come
and nestle in. I threw the flower at him
crumpled in a ball. It hit the floor

and there I was: plain angry red,
as foreign to his faculties as Mars.
In every way I wanted him to care.
I made myself a circle, then a square.

Lisa Williams

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Filed under Hayden Carruth, Lisa Williams, Poetry