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The Alphabet Conspiracy

Rita Mae Reese

Publication Year: 2011

The Alphabet Conspiracy takes its name from a 1950s-era school filmstrip of the same title. With a cast that includes patron saints for country girls and criminals, a Revolutionary War hero, the Wolfman, a sin-eater, John Wayne, and Johnny Cash, these poems swagger and sulk through an educational film turned film noir, replete with femme fatales in love. The Alphabet Conspiracy is about the ways in which language itself can function as a plot, keeping us estranged from ourselves, but also about the way it can be used as a tool for recovering our truest selves.

Published by: Red Hen Press

Title Page, Copyright, Acknowledgments, Dedication

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Intercession

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pp. 13-15

A Key to Pronunciation: /sälm/

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pp. 16-

Spurious Entry

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pp. 17-

Dear Reader

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pp. 18-19

Waiting for Lightning

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pp. 20-

The Alphabet Conspiracy

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pp. 21-23

Who Will Give My Father a Needle, a Mouse, a Cat, a Bird?

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pp. 24-

Meaning To Milk

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pp. 25-

Hunger

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pp. 26-27

Vivian Buck, 1924-1932

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pp. 28-29

My Mother Crochets the Lord’s Last Supper

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pp. 30-

Bondmaid

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pp. 31-34

On the Maiden Voyage of Francis Marion, Revolutionary War Hero

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pp. 35-

This is the final day after years of sweetness

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pp. 36-

Lilith vs. the Movie Monsters

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pp. 37-

Saint Rita

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pp. 38-

The Whore’s Guide to Etymology

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pp. 39-

Ossuary of James

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pp. 40-43

Civic Duty

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pp. 44-

The Sin-Eater

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pp. 45-

The Opposite of Falling Stars, 1978

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pp. 46-

Staying Under

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pp. 47-

Monongah, 1907

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pp. 48-49

Seed Store Sestina

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pp. 50-51

Almanac

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pp. 52-53

Whatever You Do

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pp. 54-55

Ur: What Signs & Wonders

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pp. 56-

Terrible Holy Joy: Reading the Norton Anthology of Poetry in Bed

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pp. 57-

Watson and the Shark

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pp. 58-59

The American on His First Honeymoon

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pp. 60-

First Apartment

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pp. 61-

For Western Violence and Brief Sensuality: A Rondeau

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pp. 62-

In the ER Waiting Room with My Girlfriend

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pp. 63-

The Burning Barn

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pp. 64-

The Signal

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pp. 65-

This Is Not True

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pp. 66-67

Smite, Smitten

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pp. 68-

In the Museum of Us

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pp. 69-

The Plagiarist

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pp. 70-

Within Five Miles of Home

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pp. 71-

Auto Life Fire

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pp. 72-73

Mishap

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pp. 74-

Womanless

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pp. 75-

A History of Glass

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pp. 76-77

You Bring Out the Dead in Me

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pp. 78-

Notes for Selected Poems

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pp. 79-

About the Author

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pp. 80-


E-ISBN-13: 9780980040777
Print-ISBN-13: 9780980040739

Page Count: 80
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: First