Four Poems by Rebecca Wolff

BOMB 115 Spring 2011
115 20Cover


All day I was subsumed into the group

Approximately nine of us, there were
several members with significantly retarded

Subsumed under an azure
roof of blinding
in a good way

footstone at the foot
of the plot we scoped
a final resting place

I never wanted to leave. It was hot, even, in the sunlight
      of late morning
close to the source of the heat and the light
flat on our backs on the poor soil but in number
we were many

We walked there
I was silenced by the number

And when they asked me to speak
my unique experience
in the evening

I was (imposed upon).

Not one of you was there.


Dark Roads

In a continuing
for now
by hand
with just the sounds

it is truly
a dangerous mission
tragic and heroic
lone traveler

Overall, the sounds
pertain—more importantly

the sound
and all is not quiet today

on these dark roads
just one extra face
and cloaked
and not saying anything

on foot—importantly—
hand follows foot
this time.

What you see here, above
the blackened trees
their tall spiny future

are the annals of a dark
blue inadequate

This way I say
“You made it through”
a seemingly narrow passage

Only I

for years and years

and now
is it not disturbing

to ask a question
against a book

with quiet footfall
with hooded



Liberate the Communards

from their excessive worry
over efficacy

telling stories
wins out handily

with democracy
on bended knee.


How Spooky Is It

Standing on a rutty road
mid-winter thaw

I recall once being told
“you’re in a rut”—

How spooky it is even now
to pull anything out of the water

an old TV set
the cord a drag

Presumably it is all for the best

We are the quietest neighbors
anyone on the planet

could ask for
Better than fun

is quiet

anyone could ask for

Rebecca Wolff is the author of three books of poems. These poems are from a new manuscript called One Morning—. Her debut novel The Beginners is out in June from Riverhead Books. She is the founding editor of Fence and Fence Books and The Constant Critic, and a fellow at the New York State Writers Institute. She lives in Athens, New York.

This issue of First Proof is sponsored in part by the Bertha and Isaac Liberman Foundation and the Thanksgiving Fund.

Additional funding is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The New York State Council on the Arts, and readers like you.

Originally published in

BOMB 115, Spring 2011

Featuring interviews with Joe Fyfe, Katharina Grosse, Luis Camnitzer, Jim Shepard, Sebastián Silva, Thomas Pletzinger, Robert Wyatt, and Sibyl Kempson.

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