Two Poems by Rae Armantrout

BOMB 154 Winter 2021
Lo Res Cover For Site
BOMB Magazine Issue 154 folded open to showcase Rae Armantrout's poems against a black background. The pages have large yellow borders.


People are talking about
new hot spots,
viral loads,

murder hornets,

People are talking about
learning new hobbies,

trying to unlearn
object permanence.



A girl’s lugging
a toy ambulance
almost too large
for her to lift—

siren ignored in the distance.


Clothed in torn cloud scraps,
all innocence,

dressed in dustups,
agitated snippets.

Bonsai dissonance—
what we used to call ironic.

“Who told you
you were naked?” 


During an accident, time slows down
not when there is still a chance
of averting disaster,
but, rather, when it’s too late
and we return
from the flurry
of failed actions
to watch things

as they accrue,


If any release of tension
is pleasant,

shouldn’t this also
be true of death?


The sky sifts downward.

The remaining light
is pendulous.

Clarity is what
the leaves
are spittled with.

“Did you call me?”

Rae Armantrout’s Wobble was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award. Her new book, Conjure, was published by Wesleyan University Press in 2020.

Rowan Ricardo Phillips by Gregory Pardlo
Spread from BOMB Magazine 152 of an Rowan Ricardo Phillips' interview by Gregory Pardlo

From epics to lyrics, Rowan Ricardo Phillips considers poetry’s reckoning with history and how writing will reflect our current crisis for future generations.

Nanfu Wang’s In the Same Breath by Bridget Hovell
A crowd of people looking forward. Many are wearing red and holding China's flag. All of them are wearing masks.

Nanfu Wang’s documentary In the Same Breath (HBO) chronicles the COVID-19 pandemic, its paradoxical propaganda, and how China and the US “responded to the spread of the coronavirus by protecting their public image above all else.”

Alex Dimitrov by Will Chancellor
Love And Other Poems Mockup

The two writers stroll the streets of Manhattan to talk about Dimitrov’s new poetry collection, Love and Other Poems, which traces his affection for the city.

Originally published in

BOMB 154, Winter 2021

Our winter issue includes interviews with Tashi Dorji, Danielle Evans, Walton Ford, Guadalupe Maravilla, Mary Lovelace O’Neal, the Ross Brothers, and Aaron Turner; DIY cookbooklets from Dindga McCannon; poetry by Rae Armantrout, Imani Elizabeth Jackson, and Allison Parrish; prose by Langston Cotman, GennaRose Nethercott, and Brontez Purnell; a comic by Michael DeForge; protest drawings by Steve Mumford; and more.

Read the issue
Lo Res Cover For Site