Ralph Angel

Nude with Pebbles
January 11, 2012 Angel Ralph

Nude With Pebbles


Flowers fall.  And I noticed

before I stood again and folded up the paper and rinsed my cup

their artifice.  I myself


was fifty when I murdered, I don’t know.

I’m here to break again my knuckles

or break them back.  I’m here


to hate the wall and love especially the contours

of the coast and a city

further south.


For several moments more a deer looked at me

and ate some shrubs.  And overhead

a raven


just like ravens do.


You are the shakes

and rhythm.  You are the way that you’ve not seen before

that brings you


to yourself

again.  A feeling digs you up, and look, the air is hung

with pictures.  A nude


with pebbles.  A nude with glass.  A nude

unwrapping bandages.



The subject is a non-thing.  I breathed

the sweetness of the air.  Jasmine I could smell

and eucalyptus, olive trees


and cypress, an iron gate.

We are in our robes again, you won’t remember.

You have found


a chicken sandwich.  You are plotting out

your day.  Maybe you’ll go swimming.  The bottom’s

soft and old


and further out

the fields are screaming.  Lazy yellow fields of sunflowers

in this dry heat, and you alone out there,


or rather, us.

Ralph Angel’s latest collection, Your Moon, was awarded the 2013 Green Rose Poetry Prize. Exceptions and Melancholies: Poems 1986-2006 received the 2007 PEN USA Poetry Award, and his Neither World won the James Laughlin Award of The Academy of American Poets. In addition to five books of poetry, he also has published an award-winning translation of the Federico García Lorca collection, Poema del cante jondo / Poem of the Deep Song. Angel is the recipient of numerous honors, including a gift from the Elgin Cox Trust, a Pushcart Prize, a Gertrude Stein Award, the Willis Barnstone Poetry Translation Prize, a Fulbright Foundation fellowship and the Bess Hokin Award of the Modern Poetry Association. He lives in Los Angeles, and is Edith R. White Distinguished Professor at the University of Redlands, and a member of the MFA in Writing faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts.