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Jennifer Moxley

Æolian Harp

for and after John Wilkinson

Ribboning dreams unspool in a discarded heap
of oppressive gravity, remember when life
was still compelling, your talents in truck
for fealty, the luxurious future at hand, pastoral
lack of capital in the vernal fervor couched;
"make something of yourself," for example a man
or a picture of archaic pride atop an old armoire,
"pull yourself up by your bootstraps," as did those
bargained away first sons whose whims were nursed
by sins far worse than sacrifice, remember when
you thought yourself less played upon by circumstance,
little by little by literal evidence you’ve come to be
misplaced, the time it took to spin these words has
long since disappeared, befooled by work the reading
of which another dreamer will unspool, do take your place
in pushing back the clock, small perks won’t allow
a stay of revelation, the fear of ignorance has
become the vested knowledge of stupidity, choice
the slow extinction of your faculty for longing,
and the place you would go back to of an orbit unreal.

Jennifer Moxley

Jennifer Moxley was born in San Diego, California in 1964, the daughter of William Moxley and Josephine Crum. She went to school at Mesa College, UCSD, and University of Rhode Island. In 1989 she moved to Providence where she founded and edited The Impercipient, a magazine of contemporary poetry. She completed an MFA at Brown in 1994.

Her latest book of poetry is Imagination Verses (ISBN 0 927920 07 7, Tender Buttons, Box 13, Cooper Station, New York City 10276 USA, 90 pages, US$8.95.)
This poem was first published in the conference catalogue for the seventh Cambridge (UK) Conference of Contemporary Poetry, April 1997. You can read another poem by Jennifer Moxley in Jacket # 6.

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