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By Rae Armantrout

The very flatness


of portraits


makes for nostalgia


in the connoisseur.


 


Here’s the latest


little lip of wave


to flatten


and spread thin.


 


Let’s say


it shows our recklessness,


 


our fast gun,


 


our self-consciousness


which was really


 


our infatuation


with our own fame,


 


our escapes,


 


the easy way


we’d blend in


 


with the peasantry,


 


our loyalty


to our old gang


 


from among whom


it was our nature


 


to be singled out


Rae Armantrout, "Our Nature" from Veil. Copyright © 2001 by Rae Armantrout.  Reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press.

Source: Veil (Wesleyan University Press, 2001)

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Poet Bio

Rae Armantrout
Rae Armantrout, one of the founding members of the West Coast group of Language poets, stands apart from other Language poets in her lyrical voice and her commitment to the interior and the domestic. Her short-lined poems are often concerned with dismantling conventions of memory, pop culture, science, and mothering, and these unsparing interrogations are often streaked with wit.

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