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Alan Williamson


In Paradiso, Speriamo Bene

(in memory of Peter Taylor and, once again, of Robert Lowell) 1 Between space, as I often am in dreams, in some precise, geographical way— one unreal street or structure, between two real ones— Charlottesville this time, north from the University [...]

Wide-Angle Shot: Return to Snowy River

When she leaves her father for him, the landscape  changes— the incredible drop-offs at their feet, the pointed after pointed ranges, near-bald with stones— aren't just a way of not showing sex, its monumental suspensions the body sometimes expr [...]

Domestic Architecture

There is no reason to be unhappy. Purplish flowers star the twigs out your window; it has a stately frame, eight small panes in procession above the great one, brown mullions like musical bars. And if the  neighborhood's not what you asked for, [...]


Cottonwood: boats of white thread going, it seems, nowhere, carrying a seed invisible as the soul of Pharaoh, among the little servants . . . I remember how, in such a week dividing spring from summer —a desert leatheriness on the June leave [...]


Someone said, your poems lack enthusiasm, and was afraid half the story would die of that. So I went back to Charlottesville, five paces north from the fireplace, faint-fragrant in the hot weather, then west into the cramped dining-room, as if t [...]

Letter to Santa Fe

     Staying over the three teaching days, to feel our distance less: the aromatic dryness when the heat recedes, the evening sprinklers going on the desert-like, miniature-Midwestern lawns. . . . You like absences: will the high, wide air mak [...]


(after the PBS series) At the far end of an upstairs wing, and scarier for the way the long hall darkened toward its midpoint, just where the ribcage rounded overhead and the neckbones began their climb. Of course he couldn't come alive; but i [...]