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Stacy Doris


On May 21, 1962, Stacy Doris was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She received her AB in literature and society from Brown University and an MFA in English and creative writing from the University of Iowa.

Her books include Knot (University of Georgia Press, 2006), Cheerleader's Guide to the World: Council Book (Roof Books, 2006), Conference (Potes & Poets, 2001), Une Année à New York avec Chester (P.O.L., 2000), Paramour (Krupskaya, 2000), La vie de Chester Steven Wiener ecrite par sa femme (P.O.L., 1998), Kildare (Segue Foundation, 1994).

A translator from French and Spanish, she has co-edited anthologies of French writing in translation including Twenty One New (to North America) French Writers (1997) and Violence of the White Page (1991). She is also the translator of Dominique Fourcade's Everything Happens (2000).

Doris has also published two short books written in collaboration with visual artists: Mop Factory Incident (with Melissa Smedley; Women's Studio Workshop, 1996), and Implements (for Use) (with Anne Slacik).

About Doris's work, the poet Jackson Mac Low has said, "Doris's treatment of her themes and forms is radically different from poem to poem and most contemporary practice."

She taught at several colleges and universities including the University of Iowa and Hunter College.

Stacy Doris died on January 31, 2012.

Stacy Doris

By This Poet


Knot iii.VII

If people could feed on themselves which they can, whether in despair or
Pride, time becomes a circulation, reduced and expanded to that, imitating
Digestion. Ingesting decomposes any scrap into functions, whereas eating
Something other than yourself disprove wholeness. What rewards
Rewording might be justice. Then does response outrun responsibility,
Overthrow it, so all government's automatic, total, a model of control based
On nature? If retribution's normal, rule's always enforcing, twisted and
Abstract: flexed. Then days are contaminated by law, and life's a code,
Dead yet lethal. Even putrefaction would be saturated thus: the severed
Hand molder on schedule.

Perhaps in this way all living's starvation, programmed to regurgitate itself,
So cutting off supplies would free, while goods stifle. Thus the excuse
That oneness means bodiless, that what has parts is too bulky for unity.
Indivisible then implies a corpus subtracted, or, origin in amputation. Any
Bomb curls back on its unleashing, so mirrors cause and denies effect.

So repeats; is a refrain. Like all waves, destruction won't break. If so,
Nobody needs to be alive to go on. State equals machine, but runs only
By crashing. Each project attacks what may be in place with the corrosive
Burn of potential. Passivity's the only order: ordains. But breathing counts
Down. Each movement of respiration encodes terror, which flourishes in
Everyone thus, in the midst of hunger and abundance, in the speed of love.
No tourniquet dispels it.

This' Life as a Girl In ONE-PART Harmony...

Though idle air filtered
boundless lands
in slimy thongs mumbling
brandished the outcrop.

"Below, where we all fall
if we're not careful, listen:
Not to mount these rough, scaled
organs, offspringing serpents,
but take me.

The old-time love-joints,
remember, ravishing?

Unravel this vacuum.  These
huge silent estates.  Quick, now
that we're running out of cups:
Tarry flesh and foul blot
these years.  I'm asking the favor

of enjoyment,
trapped and bloodless, though

So the wounds stopped, convinced.

The up-hill way home, steep
and indecisive, edged in night,
pitched and failed.  To eager an instant,
she slipped and drained off.

Yields to air, a second time,
her transparencies and openings marvelous,
she left.

He cultivated
This rock garden.

Song, by the same

                  as a bird:

I flew
so high
I lost
the sky
I won
the prize.

Higher, blinder
above love
the winner
dark and galactic

The knife
hit her
again, a-

                   and as a god:

I know
the source
though hidden
I put
my finger

the source's
even I
don't know
still I
know all:

she's floorless

hell waters
and men
the invisible

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