Valerie Fox


Intruder (I have come back)



I have come back. I’ve been away for a while. Nothing to do with insurance fraud. I took a class in personal money management.

All these years I’ve kept that orange, coral necklace. Someone paid a lot for that. Did you blame the air conditioning guy? I mean, you did overhear him on the deck bragging about overcharging you for repairs.

Last night I woke up fluently speaking a new language, I think it was French. Next month I’m booking a cruise. I have a passport and everything.

I know people in that place you take your daughter to, to dance or play piano or whatever. I had a job interview near there once and forgot to go. Okay, that happened more than once.
Listen closely: Will you try? Will you venture out? Go on. Go ahead.

I had a dream and when I was being chased by hoodlums I ducked into a hushed and serious studio or workshop. Two people were crafting wooden sculptures resembling gourds and violins. They let me stay there until trouble passed, but weren’t especially sympathetic about my broken ankles.

When I’m a little blue I look through your books (the ones I stole). I read your notes, mingling in a few of my own.

From the sky-high, open roof of the cloud-like library, I thought I saw you. You must have changed since those days when I could see you walking around on Green Street.

Since those days some of us have evolved. Others have pulled out completely. Well, when you miss out on this one there is always next year.



Whatever they put in there

Whatever they put in an I.V.
or maybe in the water
it really works

You dream about a flea
or other parts of your
life experience or a game
of chance—this helps you
escape back to the real war

Love there is convivial too
along with whatever else
has been put in there

other details that predict
a sea voyage which may predict
sweet desserts as
the old adage says

about catching enough “rats”
on the way to heaven






Valerie FoxValerie Fox‘s books include The Rorschach Factory, The Glass Book, and Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets (co-written with Lynn Levin). Much interested in collaboration, she has published many poems and stories with Arlene Ang. She is also part of group of Philadelphia artists combining dance, word, and visual arts in projects known as “Variable Space.” She has published in Juked, West Branch, Hanging Loose, Painted Bride Quarterly, Apiary, Sentence, Mead, and other magazines.