Two Poems by Julia Bloch, winner
The William Carlos Williams Prize, 2006

[from Apartment]

8. Because I know this song & how it will end

my myopic heart decides to write down ev-
ery thing you say from how you like my green shirt
to the indecision you wave before me
in white strips. apart-

ment means I've got my eye on your rent control--
sorry to be so crass in my urge to tie
it all together. last night your fingers marked
fugue states as the song

played do you know what it's like to be hunted?
sorry I asked you to meet me for breakfast
at 26th & South Van Ness but the day
was beginning. and

I wanted to watch you drink coffee. and
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me

[from Letters to Kelly Clarkson]

Dear Kelly,

At London's Royal Academy of Arts we lurch past a mouth of death, a
skirt of serpents, a Christ of feathers, a chest of feathers, a Lord of Death,
a liver hanging like a bell or flower. I stand in a black wool skirt in front
of a Viking burial scene, watching a ship set on fire & sent to sea.

Television is an event, too, but other times it's a curtain call, or it's fact
masquerading as dream. What's it like, to be tiny? Does it hurt when I turn
up the volume? He mistook emptiness for innocence. This liver, suspended
by hand, blooming, is also made of stone.