Adrianne M. Marcus

Author and Poet

March 1935 - September 2009




Born in Everett, Mass. on March 7, 1935, Adrianne grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and graduated from San Francisco State University with degrees in Creative Writing.

As a free-lance journalist her non-fiction was primarily food and travel oriented as well as off- beat articles on dogs. She published widely in such newspapers and magazines such as Parade, Menus, Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure, Good Food, Cooking Light, Detroit Monthly, Image, World & I, San Francisco Examiner Travel Section, California Living, Town & Country and magazines devoted to Scandinavia, such as EX.

For two years, Marcus had a weekly column in The San Francisco Chronicle (Food section), titled "What's New" and a bi-monthly column, "Provisions." She also had a number of humorous articles in the Home section about her dogs, mishaps in gardening and cooking, of which she has had many. The book, Forever Borzoi has her poetry and prose on the foibles of her thieving borzois, LacyLu and Nikki.

Her fiction appeared in such magazines as Descant, Force10, Red Dog, Confrontation and Cosmopolitan and in the anthology, Worlds in Our Words. She co-authored of a book of humorous fiction, Carrion House World Of Gifts published by St. Martin's Press.

In poetry, Adrianne Marcus published over 400 poems, ranging from the small magazines such as Southern Poetry Review, Descant, Shenandoah, Painted Bride Quarterly, Confrontation, Solo, Barnabe Mt. Review, Paris Review, Red Clay Reader, Passenger, Poetry Ireland, Poetry New Zealand, Epoch, Poetry Scotland, Poetry International, Wicked Alice, ArtLife, Askew, and Choice to anthologies such as White Trash, This is Women's Work, New Poets: Women, Contemporary Poetry of North Carolina and commercial magazines such as The Atlantic Monthly and The Nation. In addition, three books of her poetry have been published and three chapbooks.

Marcus had two books of non-fiction to her credit, "The Chocolate Bible,"( G.P. Putnam's Sons) and "The Photojournalist: Mark & Leibovitz."(Thames And Hudson; Peterson Press)

Marcus lived in San Rafael, California with her husband, the noted futurist, Ian Wilson and their dogs until her death in September, 2009. Ian joined her at peace in April, 2014. One of her poetry chapbooks, published in Ireland, Magritte’s Stones, was dedicated to their wolf-hybrid, Lady MacBeth, who died on November 10, 1999. Lady was an exceptional pack leader and companion.

At the time of her death, Adrianne was working on a new manuscript of poetry, "Dark Matter" and a book of fiction "Good Breeding."


things to do before you die

Give away your collection of Troika birds
The elegant snowbird, red, white and black
And the new one: pure sunshine yellow.
There are the tiny baby ones, still in their
Nests of straw, hardly birds, not even fledglings.
Also the curlew with its wicked beak.

Give away your striped tee shirts. They were
Never flattering anyway. Those spandex pants
Have to go, as well. Anything sleeveless.
Women over 50 have no business hanging
Their arms out to dry.

What to keep? Not the books, they won’t be
Read again, not even your favorite writers.
Wish those off on the librarian who will
Groan under the weight of all those tomes
Of signed and unsigned poetry and prose.

Thousands of photographs of friends and
Enemies, no longer differentiated. They are
Reduced to small figures, slick, unreal.
Even your children have forgotten their

Keep the one or two toys you discovered in
Your parent’s house when you were cleaning
It out. The wooden ducks that quack when
Dragged along, the old deck of cards you
Played poker with Mother, during the months
She was dying. Even then, she beat you
Hand after hand.

The best you can keep
Are memories of love,
Even the ones you lost. The taste of a
Special evening, the wine a red jewel
Of perfection, the evening ending too soon
With only the warmth of chocolate lingering
As a dark kiss, a lover’s touch.

It is not much. But it is more than enough.

Adrianne Marcus

Dark matter

....the early Universe was driven extremely close to flat, and that it
is still very close to flat today. If this is so, then at least 90% the
energy of the Universe is dark! Martin White

Having come from that place to this, the grandstand
At the edge, I announce, ‘Flat!’
Columbus was wrong. Galileo was wrong. They
Only had a world view. Now that

I stand at the edge of the universe as it
Spreads out before me in a vaporous cascade
Of clustering galaxies, black holes, dwarf stars,
I hear the voices of distant light years fade

Into silly murmurings. The lens of the universe
Is wider than any invention. Stars collapse
Are born, light drifts through the flat vast
Edges of nebulaes, just as the body prolapses

And must be repaired. Who repairs the stars?
What hand opens and shuts onto the infinite dark?
We infer by gravity, by the dark masses we
Cannot see, by whatever has left its unseen mark

Causing speculation and pronouncements in time
That may or may not be relevant in the larval flow
Of energy, mass, a life lived in cocooning truth or a lie.
Instead we grow old, unlearned, wishing now

We could see the entire picture: as if we could
Stand above the universe, look down, say
Ah, that is how it all happened. What was before,
After? Was there a single path, a way

That made clarity?
Perhaps. Perhaps not. At least, not this time.


In the corner
is the book that explains black
holes and Heisenberg.
Whatever the world proves,
it proves by inference.
Love, for instance. When
Ferdinand observed Miranda, she
changed the island subtly.
She believed in magic.

Ice will melt
at such and such a point
and water vaporize.

This does nothing to explain
phenomena, human beings, or how
a heart calibrates
the pain of love.

what velocity revenge possesses,
increasing with the speed of light.
Waking, discover
a black hole, call it:
a heart, where everything
is plunged, consumed
into an unexpected universe.
Time runs backwards,
curses all our acts
to their beginnings.

Heisenberg, when I observe
this universe
I change by small degrees.
The act and the observer
no longer separate. Fusion.

Love, which seems a plural,
is only one, confused,
having left its path to
whirl, unstable,
out of orbit.
It is not there.
Nor there.

Adrianne Marcus