Ann Menebroker


Ann Menebroker lives in downtown Sacramento. She has been publishing poetry since the late 1950s. She was co-founder of an earlier poetry workshop and has judged poetry contests and taught prison workshops. She is the author of over twenty poetry collections (in addition to broadsides) and her work has appeared in dozens of anthologies, including The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. She also appeared in The Archive Group documentary, I Began to Speak.


Annie can be reached at



Ann Menebroker Poems

Al’s In Locke

     (for Neeli)

an old river restaurant
with ketchup on the table
order up rare or medium steaks

the anchored house boats
and sailing boats spill out
their cocktail people, who
look for a “Mexican taxi”
to get to Al’s

I’m driving a pale blue ford
pick-up truck, full of deeply
tanned bodies, all laughing
and pressing together

the fish are so far below the river
you could swear they didn’t
exist, or even the town itself

just the people, oiled and hungry

Boxing Lessons

Only between rounds
when the bell rings
and the fighters part,
when they fill their mouths
with water and spit it out,
does she dare to look
at the canvas. It stinks
with practiced sweat,
fear, and blows
that sometimes don’t
connect. She can
imagine a gloved fist
rushing toward her
face, the blow, a
staggering and falling—
the ropes not there
and strangest of all,
no pain. She’s felt
this way before, a
triumph of surface
nerves, her name
sewn into her heart
as she walks out.











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