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Phoebe Wilcox

Phoebe Wilcox has published two books: a poetry chapbook, Recidivist (Lilly Press, April 2010), and her first novel, Angels Carry the Sun (Lilly Press, Sept 2010), which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Phoebe is the recent winner of the 2012 Gertrude Stein Poetry Prize, awarded by Wilderness House Literary Review. She was, for many years, in love with Oscar Wilde, even though he was both gay and dead, and now that she’s lived enough to write her own “Ballad of Reading Gaol,” she identifies with him even more than she did in high school.


A shaky poster child
for natural catastrophe
running, running
with pounding feet and thoughts,
through a heart’s own
obliterating explosion of stars.
Call out sick.
Call out sicker than sick, heartsick.
Just call out.
“I can’t make it. I am an inferno.”

[Originally published by Wilderness House Literary Review fall 2012.]

A Woman May Make a Remark

My coat made of failure
does not match my successful skin.
We will never run out of smut
as long as there are lovers living.
My striped socks are lost under the bed
and my legs are over the rainbow.
I would tear you up and take you to Oz
in any Kansas weather.
However, I will try and refrain,
and contain
It is the proper thing.
But still, a woman may make a remark
because some things between men and women
are simply
so remarkable.

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