Renée's work online:

Three pages at www.avocetpress.com page one

page two

page three

Renée Ashley Renée Ashley

She Refuses to Believe in Dreams

Trouble — much clatter in the square
   — yet, still more sigh than shout.
      The great bin of the heart shudders.
The muffled tapping of a shoe. And,
   above all this, the dry white moon
      in a blue sky. The poor mind swarms,
that thing that is human in shadow and light

Self-Portrait on a White Table

No one is looking. Lay the heart down
      there. Is it trembling? I thought
it might be weary, be sorry, be somehow
      canted at a dangerous angle. All night
it kept me thinking: here is the valve
      that stokes the soul, here is the soul's
bright bucket.
                    All the night
is pounding. Nothing falls from the steep
      sky, the moon's thin light's gone out.
The great, dark swath of the world beckons
      and the heart clicks like an insect
taking what it can from the clamorous night.

Breaking Through the Abstract

There are the father's hands swimming
through the abstract air — ten solid
fingers breaking gravity's law. No
subject to mention, no design — just
one man speaking in ten silent tongues,
and his two small shoes shifting as though
the tamped-down dirt beneath them is grab-
bing at his hot and worn-down heels. Here
is a man in danger, ripe with a blue death
he settles himself. Here is the concrete
father. When the hands find their peace
in the earth, the girl is still listening.


Whatever name the event has,
it can be understood as an invitation.
                                  — William Dickey

Such luck. And no doubt the wind
      blowing through. Every time, each
of the smallest maneuvers — and in

all directions. A largess of open
      doors and a staircase that winds
that way forever. Come in...

the handiwork is intricate: here
       is perpetual decision, all your dizzy
angels dancing in that ring, every

dream you ever had shifting like
       sand toward some indefinite
sea, a silence, perhaps, or

a shout. And here it is again only
       different. It is understood: you
are reckless. You are strange. Event

& interruption are aligned. And
      endless. Once your eye swings open,
you'll have to see what that might mean.