Julie Phillips Brown


 For E. B. A.

         Confession                                                           Apologia

1       Awake in words, only                                   Bare cliffs, the forest teeming
        seeming to sleep                                           listing    on edge, loose
        I follow you out    a pall                                soil and strife

2      At once I know where                                   What you hear is
        you are gone, already                                    not speaking    an idle spar
        an othertime    elsewhere                              late barb in ear, mere
                                                                            mote in eye

3      Your brow remains                                        What you hear is
        unaltered    struck light                                  river in ravine    mute rush,
        by morning                                                    mouthed clay, limestone

4      You do not    I do not                                     What you meet is
        recognize your double—                                 headlong spring    yourself
        flash of glass, glancing                                    of an early eve, spare rue
        return home—if no other                                piercing, carried away

5      To trespass, to grasp:                                       What is known
        to forgive is                                                    what is said,
        to ask                                                             your name,
                                                                             this plea or plaint

6      After all                                                         Refuse    how wander
       do you hear                                                     not wander    how still
       here we are                                                     how stay    what hollow
       this palm, this kiss

7      Stay us    our                                                  or hallow
        unmoving break                                             now
             wind through stone
             water, bone


Julie Phillips Brown

Julie Phillips Brown is a poet, painter, scholar, and book artist. After earning an M.F.A and a Ph.D. at Cornell University, she served as the N.E.H. Post-Doctoral Fellow in Poetics at Emory University’s Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Angels of the Americlypse (Counterpath), Columbia Poetry Review, Conjunctions (special web edition), Contemporary Women’s Writing, delirious hem, Denver Quarterly, Mixed Messages (Manchester UP), Peregrine, Talisman, and elsewhere. She currently lives in Lexington, Virginia, where she teaches creative writing, studio art, and American literature.