Spring 2005

Anne-Marie Levine


Anne-Marie Levine Anne-Marie Levine, who lives in New York City and who began to write while touring as a concert pianist, is a board member at Poets House and the author of three collections of poetry: Euphorbia (Provincetown Art Press, 1994), and Bus Ride to a Blue Movie (2003) and Oral History: A Monologue (2005), both from Pearl Editions. Her work also appears in the anthologies Poetry after 9/11 (Melville House Publishing, 2002) and Literature as Meaning (Penguin, 2005). Grant recipient from NYFA and the Puffin and Vogelstein Foundations, she is currently at work on a Commonplace book and a visual arts project called Box Poems..
The Private Life Of Toilet Spiders    

The black widow spider
devours her mate.
She is venomous.  
She is infamous.
She is the most venomous spider
in North America.
I remember her from our garage
in Beverly Hills.

She lurks
under the seat in outhouses
and boys and men are at risk for her bite
especially if she is guarding an egg sack.

She's a mother!

Do you think she confuses
the languid testicles
or trailing penises
of boys and men
unlucky enough to be seated near her
for those of the mate she will soon devour?

Her bite, although rarely fatal to humans,
can cause serious symptoms.

I wonder. . . .
Did we have outhouses in Beverly Hills?



Anne-Marie Levine: Poetry
Copyright © 2005 The Cortland Review Issue 28The Cortland Review