The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Lararium by Ray Ball


This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Elizabeth Vignali, is from Lararium by Ray Ball, released by Variant Lit in 2020. 

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               After Lorca

A cool breeze – so welcome
after hot days in Andalucía
enters my body, helps
stretch the folded accordion

of my spine. I will look
the rose bush in its face
past all the obsessive gnats,
the bees bumping in orgiastic gratitude.

Why does a sepulcher
of the past haunt me even here?
The art of dying requires
heaps of human skulls

in the same way that the sky
assassinates itself over
and over again, somehow hoping
each time, it will be different.


Ray Ball currently lives on the land of the Dena’ina, where she works as a history professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She is the author of two history books and two chapbooks of poetry, Tithe of Salt (Louisiana Literature, 2019) and Lararium (Variant Lit, 2020). Her poems and fiction have appeared in numerous journals, including GlassOrange Blossom Review, Split Rock Review, and X-R-A-Y. She has received multiple nominations for Pushcart and been a Best of the Net finalist. Ray is senior editor at Coffin Bell and assistant editor Juke JointYou can find her on Twitter: @ProfessorBall.  

Elizabeth Vignali is the author of the poetry collection House of the Silverfish (Unsolicited Press 2021) and three chapbooks, the most recent of which is Endangered [Animal] (Floating Bridge Press 2019). Her work has appeared in Willow Springs, Poetry Northwest, Cincinnati Review, Mid-American Review, Tinderbox, The Literary Review, and elsewhere. She lives in the Pacific Northwest on the land of the Noxwsʼáʔaq and Xwlemi peoples, where she works as an optician, produces the Bellingham Kitchen Session reading series, and serves as poetry editor of Sweet Tree Review.

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