PF detail from Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Beach Scene, Guernsey (Children by the Sea in Guernsey) - 1883;


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Dorianne Laux was born in Maine and worked in many capacities. A single mother, she took occasional classes and poetry workshops at the local junior college, writing poems during shift breaks. In 1983 she moved to Berkeley, California where she began writing in earnest. Supported by scholarships and grants, she returned to school when her daughter was a young child, and graduated with honors from Mills College in the Spring of 1988 with an English degree. Ms.Laux has been published widely, is the author of various poetry collections and has received numerous honors and awards for her poetry. Laux’s new collection, The Book of Men, will be published by W.W. Norton in February, 2011. For more information about her, please check out our previous feature.

Even Music | Cello


Even Music

Drive toward the Juan de Fuca Strait.
Listen to "Moondog Matinee."
No song ever written gets close to it:

how it feels to go on after the body
you love has been put into the ground
for eternity. Cross bridge after bridge,

through ten kinds of rain, past
abandoned fireworks booths,
their closed flaps streaked with soot.

Gash on the flank of a red barn:
Jesus Loves You. 5$ a Fish.
He's dead. Where's your miracle?

Load a tape into the deck so a woman
can wear out a love song. Keep moving,
keep listening to the awful noise

the living make.
Even the saxophone, its blind
unearthly moan.

©2000 by Dorianne Laux
Reprinted from “Smoke”
Published by BOA Editions, Ltd.
With permission from the author.


When a dead tree falls in a forest
it often falls into the arms
of a living tree. The dead,
thus embraced, rasp in wind,
slowly carving a niche
in the living branch, sheering away
the rough outer flesh, revealing
the pinkish, yellowish, feverish
inner bark. For years
the dead tree rubs its fallen body
against the living, building
its dead music, making its raw mark,
wearing the tough bough down,
moaning in wind, the deep
rosined bow sound of the living
shouldering the dead.

©2007 by Dorianne Laux
Reprinted from “Facts About the Moon”
Published by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
With permission from the author.