Elizabeth Robinson

Elizabeth Robinson Poems

"Willy nilly runs the river
Without an original edition."


"Fate's material secrecy"

is merely a phrase

Do you mind, she asked,
if I steal a bit from you. This
she asked again and again until

The tongue conformed itself
around this large glossy darkness,

Gray, soft, tidal. One had no need to decide
whether to trust it. A key that is good in any lock. It recurs. It told us

To do away with things

A body unto itself, rancid golem.
The body releases a tuft of hair.

Flooding the place the
the body wanted to believe

The afterlife is blue, this change
of thirst. A figure

Rough draft.
Infernal orientation of
the body to the Real

The body collects aphorisms, as though it were a jar.
That is the world, secured so, and palely organized
according to mysterious function.

The soul in its doorway
and then the doorway dies.
This is misbehavior.


"Don't try changing my convictions; I'm lucid."
If I don't give you the shirt off my back,
at least I can stand on the street corner and turn it

Elizabeth Robinson Biography

Elizabeth Robinson (born 1961, Denver, Colorado) is an American poet and professor, author of twelve collections of poetry, most recently Counterpart (Ahsahta Press, 2012), "Three Novels" (Omnidawn, 2011) "Also Known A," (Apogee, 2009), and The Orphan and Its Relations (Fence Books, 2008). Her work has appeared in the "Conjunctions," "The Iowa Review," Colorado Review, the Denver Quarterly, Poetry Salzburg Review, and New American Writing. Her poems have been anthologized in "American Hybrid" (Norton, 2009), "The Best of Fence" (Fence, 2009), and Postmodern American Poetry (Norton, 20130> With Avery Burns, Joseph Noble, Rusty Morrison, and Brian Strang, she co-edited 26 magazine. Starting in 2012, Robinson began editing a new literary periodical, Pallaksch. Pallaksch, with Steven Seidenberg. For 12 years, Robinson co-edited, with Colleen Lookingbill, the EtherDome Chapbook series which published chapbooks by emerging women poets. She co-edits Instance Press with Beth Anderson and Laura Sims. She graduated from Bard College, Brown University, and Pacific School of Religion. She moved from the Bay Area to Boulder, Colorado where she taught at the University of Colorado and at Naropa University. She has also taught at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has twice served as the Hugo Fellow at the University of Montana. Robinson has had great interest for poetry since her very early years. She was greatly encouraged by her parents to reach for her dreams of becoming a poet. As time past, her writing skills improved and she majored in English. She has written many poems and stories since then. Because of her ability, she has been recognized and gained many fans for her work.)

The Best Poem Of Elizabeth Robinson


"Willy nilly runs the river
Without an original edition."

I think about death
and so it appears, like a ghost with legs of uneven length.

Each step makes a noise, an uneven chatter
that turns just outside the window of my mind like a brook.

No, I am not troubled by this visitation because
death is a facsimile, a fundamental

awkwardness. All felicities

I bestow on so earnest an attempt at imitation. I imitate it
myself, with an accommodating stumble.

The susurrus of death tells me that nothing is cleanly divisible,
that life is a current that wends crookedly.

But the ghost beguiles and I cannot resist putting my hands in,
wrist-deep, pulling apart where I reach, finally, the stream

of the original,
the prime number, the place where parting cannot occur.

Indivisible or lopsided.

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