Born on an American air base in Japan, Elizabeth Cross spent most of her childhood in Biloxi, Mississippi and in the former West Germany. She earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Hope College and a Ph.D. in Literature/Creative Writing from the University of Denver. She taught at the University of Denver and at the University of Michigan before arriving at the School at the Art Institute of Chicago where she currently teaches in the M.F.A. writing program.
Awards include grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts and the Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute. Her visual poetry has been exhibited in Denver at the Red Shift Art Gallery, the Jewish Community Center, and the Outdoor Museum of Art. In Fort Collins, Colorado, her work appeared at One West Gallery. Publications include American Letters & Commentary, Chain, Chicago Review, and Denver Quarterly.
╬Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
RIFLE 1. obs. A depredation, sacking, spoliation.
2. A thing acquired by rifling
Gone out the open window I am deceived by things I counted on
rifled by an evening of needles.
The vial emitting sparks now left behind, sucked dry.
Clean is a new hiding a partial erasing of your sound in the floor,
in the vent, on the brand new telephone line,
the message you leave in the garbage to threaten my life.
Around the furnace a ticking under the shouting
above the hidden gun speeding for gain
loss of my eyes on you through the window
faster depredation and pattern in the neighborhood.
Reprinted from Denver Quarterly, XXXIX, no. 3 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Elizabeth Cross.