Julia Connor, Sacramento poet
Laureate 2005-2008, has published books and chapbooks since
1985. She has received grants, awards and fellowships from
numerous institutions including the California Arts Council, the
Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, Centrum Foundation, The
Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and Hambidge Center for Creative
Arts and Sciences. She has taught poetry workshops in many U.S.
cities, as well as in England. In the late 80’s she served as
instructor and Assistant Director of The Jack Kerouac School of
Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, Boulder, CO. She
teaches six-month writing workshops and master classes from the
home in Sacramento she shares with actor James C. Anderson, and
their four-legged familiar, “Shakespeare”.
Julia Connor Poems
where there are no bodies
of light, no gates of mercy ajar
where only moments ago
wrath fed from our hands
—blasphemous as though we were
its lord! just so, then
while the trees are shorn
all kings fallen, hope an ash
while there is no rebuttal
up from the slush heap
let come the body inside
the body to beg its alms
That flight of stairs spiraling ever upward, fold
after fold, to vanish, as birds do—are wont to—fly
into the certainty of their own disappearances.
I saw a woman while at Chartres, hardly vertical
so old she’d grown into the handle of her cane
enter slowly through the side chapel, light a taper
then press her lips onto the Virgin’s in a long kiss
as if that were where absence is, inside that blaze.
And, so, exit again. To market, I suppose.
Nothing warrants us so much as certain death:
the quick light of stolen fires in which the things
of this world appear shapely, in spite of everything:
the after a while not quite so believable sense
of the world’s never being finished with itself
that we reflect in our own.