To contact E.R. Warner, email


She waits, 

And it seems as if she has spent her whole life waiting

Waiting so many years for him to come that she gave up

Resigned herself to living without him

So when he finally arrived

His hands filled with fresh new days and

His kisses whispering with promises of youth

She thought, "Yes. It is right. I have paid

my dues."    

She waits,

And as she waits she spins out the possibilities Of life without him again

A return to the barren past

But with each tormenting moment

She knows, she knows, she knows

she cannot go back.

She waits,

And as the hours pass an awareness buds

Rooted by the wall of her pain

An awareness fed by the loss of all meaning save this: 

"I have survived."

She shreds the wasted hours into confetti

As her hands thread back into work.

E.R. Warner

Telling stories has been part of my life almost as long as I can remember.  I know it began long before I could put a paragraph together.

Similar to the experiences John Cheever describes in a Paris Reviewinterview, I told stories in elementary school. Whenever there was a free moment, the teacher would ask the class what they’d like to do—say, for five minutes before the final bell of the day—and the students would  yell, “Have Elizabeth tell a story.” I would, and watched the clock so I could finish up with an appropriate ending. Always my stories contained an element of suspense in a desperate attempt to keep 25 six-year olds engaged. To this day, I favor suspense in my writing.                     

I first published in literary magazines in the 70’s, a short story in one publication, and the two poems reproduced below in another. Some of the defining moments in my life include living and working for a year in Europe, another in New York, then San Francisco, and three years in Key West. But the bulk of my working life was spent teaching at a community college in Ann Arbor, MI.

Finally I am able to commit all of my time to writing and have returned to Key West, the best place I have found to do it.

I was married and divorced twice and raised an adopted son disabled by fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) . After I made sure it was okay with him, I began to write Born to Oblivion, a novel in progress based on many of our experiences. 

(To see what's coming, please go to my Works in Progress page.)

About E.R. Warner


The following poems were published in INK.

Photo by Janet Hinkle

Warner reading from Rock Bottom  at the Key West Literary Seminar, 2014.

Photo by Leonel Valle

E. R. Warner

The Hole in the Ozone   

My introduction to it could hardly be called scientific 

I was at college in the Sixties when 

A house was named that way 

(Where the addicts got cured, I was told) 

"She's in the ozone," you'd say when Someone was totally spaced 

The ozone was not of this world 

The ozone was out there, my friend   

It was too abstract to have any meaning

And as I dressed for my class in

Sixteenth Century Poetry

I wondered what possible relevance

The ozone had to me

But they've found a hole in it now   

And, you know? That makes you think.        

E.R. Warner