by Marcella Durand
‘the hours we pass are horae, are stars.” The hours I have spent with you are a constellation (Mallarmé), a constellation out of the infinite spread of lights (time, hours), and I love experiencing the year shift while in the house of Anne. “write into/ only poetry.” And only poetry is everything in the house of Anne. “hematite or vermilion rubbed into/ incised lines of shell texts/ so they shine in poetry.” Your work, you, your work, your poem “trickster feminism” and so many other poems continue to talk with other poets here now and to come—”trying to remember role in late capital poet-life-vow-archive, a feminine principle, whatever gender.” The vow you took shows the seriousness of this vocation, to be poet. O pOets! Our roles have become clearer, but more complicated, our life work more urgent—hard to do all this hard work and harder still!—but we know we are needed, and you remind us every day that. “We are swimming in nuclear semen in which we are learning to breathe like mutant beasts.” Outriders in this glowing dangerous medium never more necessary. “ear to/ wicked heart, a metronome.” Do we keep the rhythm? Rhyme is perhaps the most mysterious of all the poetic arts—hiding great subtlety in obviousness. Everything we say (create) has a beat and a breath. “alert with conch alarum.” We stay alert to what the sounds tell us. You are a nuclear woman. The protest led you close to the spaces of atom dismemberment and release. You held the feet of great poets as they transformed upward. “did she breathe fire,” yes, she does. “did she walk on fire,” yes, she does. “did she battle the masculine wits to a pulp,” oh, yes she surely does. “did she overdose on testosterone,” yes, we are all overdosed on testosterone, but you search always and find the countervenom. “did we succumb to mere guise?” Some of us, but not all of us, thank you for the jaguar light to lead us out of the mists. “how clear a sound/ come all the way through her speaking.” Anne, you provide spaces for so many voices. And into those spaces your voice leading. “in love with all scale and wings of luminous birds.” “and my colors cling to you in weather.” “to fierce tenderness in new feminism.” Holding your hand together we sing out.
Marcella Durand’s most recent books include The Prospect (Delete Press) and her translation of Michèle Métail’s book-length poem, Earth’s Horizons (Black Square Editions). She is currently working on a new book forthcoming from Black Square Editions.