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Katherine Williams has authored four chap books and was a featured poet at Beyond Baroque, KXLU FM 88.9, and the Valley Contemporary Poets; she received further encouragement by way of a Pushcart nomination, first prize in a poetry slam, and the gala Curators' Choice Reading of the Los Angeles Poetry Festival.


At my home break the water is a cappuccino
of warm wind-swell frothing the dark silt

but at Monster Hole or Brennecke's
or Spanish House the ocean is
a flawless sparkling sapphire

and in Eleuthera you can make out the shadow
of each toe a fathom below as you wait for the set

and in Cabo the water is as a window
through which the keels of passing yawls
are as clear as their sails

yet even at home there are days
of exceptional clarity between storms

and the rare green translucense
is as compelling as the small hush
of the waveless tide



Not one hero
from her bedroom's
glorious history
was left standing



was it the way the north wind gave voice to
the palm timbales and gumtree cymbals,
salt spray bearing tortilla and fishstink
up to our third rooftop music lesson

or the way we had gone from shop to shop
on the field trip to san ysidro,
trying to find a papier-mâché mermaid
since they lose a lot in translation

or the old waitress at that tiki dive
on hollywood boulevard, expertly
lowering the torch so I wouldn't miss
the fine print on your halo in the dark

or when gypsies howled our lawless tango,
you wanting me green, how my dead mother
kept whispering never give in or the
margarita kiss that ended all that



Massive thunderheads
singed with burning pines,
a bird bone:  air bounded

by a kind of force field,
ghost crabs skittering
over cold morning sand,

high lead in the doorsills,
song in an Eastern key
between F and F#,

matelassé settee,
darkest ice or palest driftwood,
windows that won't bear shutters,

bridal gown whispering
cuckold, already cuckold,
unbroken prism firestarter,

oath breathed out of a child's earshot,
unkept secret, confessional amen,
brocade's shadow of old blood,

the C and D keys she always reverses,
color of Chinese grief,
snow whispering of the coal chute,

buoy sounding in the soft blank night,
warhorse of Mongol woman,
five thousand year old femur,

sails on slate under a bad sky,
faint puff of wind they call cat feet
walks upon the shining river,

sheets whispering Wrong Person,
turning ray of the lighthouse,
sweep of the arc.

O blank page of defeat,
rise off the ground,
into the dead summer sky.

© 2004 Katherine Williams


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