Alison Luterman | The Sun Magazine

Alison Luterman


Alison Luterman’s latest book of poetry is In the Time of Great Fires. She lives, writes, and teaches in Oakland, California, and all over the world on Zoom.

— From September 2022


Because my car is twenty years old / and the gizmo that goes ding ding ding / when you leave the lights on / has been busted for at least a decade, / I’m always contending with a comatose battery.

September 2022
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Hard Times

After that incident I sorted people into two categories: those who could sing and those who couldn’t. I was now relegated to the land of Couldn’t, an exile from the country of music.

April 2022

A Few Days After My First Vaccine

Walking by the lake, I lose an earring / and don’t even notice it at first, / overwhelmed as I am / by the strangeness of everything.

October 2021

Access Road

I don’t know if other people feel like there’s a life / running alongside their so-called real life like an / access road runs alongside the main highway.

June 2021

Being Wrong

One of the great / unheralded joys of late / middle age is the mind-popping / sensation / of how many things / I’ve been wrong about, / starting with sex, / my parents, / and the meaning of the word / bruschetta

April 2021
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Fire All Around

Even though we all breathed the smoke from the destruction of the town of Paradise in 2018 — breathed in their burning cars, homes, animals, and bodies — it was still happening “over there” to “other people.”

January 2021

The Debate

I’m listening to my father and his brother, / both in their eighties, debate their childhood / from adjoining La-Z-Boy recliners. / “We had no toys,” my father insists. / “What are you talking about, no toys?” / My uncle practically leaps from his chair

December 2020

Braiding His Hair

Here we are each morning: / my husband on our old kitchen chair, its upholstery / while I comb out his long / wheat-colored hair.

October 2020

Already True

A Selection Of Poetry For These Times

July 2020


I’m trying to work at this coffee shop / while a young woman with blue hair / and chiseled biceps, two tables away, / holds forth about how no one / should ever take medication / for anxiety and depression

March 2020


When I was young, years ago, canoeing on the green / Green River, with my young first husband, / I wriggled out of my shorts, eased over the lip / of our little boat, and became eel-woman, / naked and glistening, borne along in the current.

December 2019

Sometimes The Dream

My student blushed all over his bald head / as he confessed, laughing, / “I have those adultery dreams — you know, the ones / where you wake up in a cold sweat: / Thank God, thank God, / I didn’t mess up my whole life!

March 2017
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