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Rosanna Warren

Rosanna Warren

Rosanna Warren teaches at the University of Chicago. Her book of criticism, Fables of the Self: Studies in Lyric Poetry, came out in 2008. Her most recent books of poems are Departure (2003) and Ghost in a Red Hat (2011).


A garment should be logical.
— Coco Chanel
Yes   I made the perfume   Yes
I am an orphan   Light my cigarette
Just so    The perfect profile intaglioed in air     
Now let the hems down   Now we slash
the collar   And when a man enters     
always make him pay   Always     
a stray prince around before the casino closes
This century tilts   I'm good at sphinxing
Elegance excludes   I exclude     
milk    waste   tears   uterus    Do I
remember the lard-colored orphanage halls
No   I refuse   Place a Coromandel screen
in front of the car wreck and your
world war   My demi-monde   It took 128 ingredients
We live in an age with no interiors
and his blood festooned the pavement by the crumpled car
Boy Capel     the only man I
Embellishment gives way to line
and ease of motion     A Bugatti flair
Wealth assuming the proportion
of catastrophe   And if the other was  a German officer
how does that affect the drape of sleeve
I'm on my knees with a corona  
of pins bristling from my lips   It's not
adoration   It's revenge


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