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No. 218 Fall 2016

Charles Simic, History

Our life stories are scary and droll,
Like masks children wear on Halloween
As they go from door to door

Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Little Songs

I write my little song. And you call it
Guitar noodle. You write without you here.
And I call it the poem with you here in it.

Lawrence Joseph, Is What It Is

Fulton near Pearl, dug up to lay new Fulton Center 
subway power lines, a stone wall, three feet high, 
in silt-muck seven feet below street level, inside it 

Susan Stewart, Channel

Sweet runs the water ever
out of spring and meadow,
frothing low, rising,

Erika L. Sánchez, Love Story

In a field of broken antlers, 
I’m holy
as the grass 

Major Jackson, You, Reader

So often I dream of the secrets of satellites, 
and so often I want the moose to step 
from the shadows and reveal his transgressions, 

Ishmael Reed, The Diabetic Dreams of Cake

Karen Solie, A Hermit

Experience teaches, but its lessons 
may be useless. I could have done without
a few whose only by-product is grief,

Michael Robbins, Walkman

I didn’t mean to quit drinking, 
it just sort of happened. 
I’d always assumed 

No. 217 Summer 2016

Monica Youn, Quinta del Sordo

Monica Youn, Redacre

Greenacre, Curated by Monica Youn

Devin Johnston, Thrown Object

Devin Johnston, Prince

Golan Haji, Another House

I was my house

Eliza Griswold, ISIS & Friends

Where are your scars now

Adonis, From Elegy for the Times Full Text

  The wind is against us and the ash of war covers the earth. We see our spirit flash on a razor blade, a helmet’s curve. The brackish springs of autumn salt our wounds. 

Danielle Blau, I Am the Perennial Head of This One-person Subcutaneous Wrecking Crew

To maintain these depths of misery
takes work given my buoyant disposition;

Frederick Seidel, To Mac Griswold

Suddenly I’m ready to eat the world,
Starting with the food on my plate.

Jana Prikryl, Ontario Gothic

The dwarf maple caught my attention

No. 216 Spring 2016

J. D. McClatchy, Sunflowerws in October

J. D. McClatchy, My After-Dinner Drink

is a bowl of stars,
not the sunset’s wussy Pink Lady
hours ago, before a solitary dinner—

John Ashbery, Depraved Indifference Full Text

Customize the event, picking at soul scabs,
turning your face optimistically toward the window.
There must be a long biography coming out soon,

John Ashbery, Hillbilly Airs and Dances

The same ideas or different ones condense,
and you don’t have to sleep again.
Garbage is necessary. That’s another issue

John Ashbery, Sitting at the Table

In these situations
I’m trying to figure out what is going on.
So is he too. Purged for oversharing,

John Ashbery, This Once

Mary Jo Bang, Admission

My mother was glamorous in a way I knew I 
never would be. Velvet belt buckle. Mascara 
lash. Miniature crimson lipstick living in the 

Mary Jo Bang, An Anatomical Study

Now I’m an archivist. Indexer of everywhere 
I have ever been. Of every ­moment I stood 
there and there. Of where I was when I was 

Mary Jo Bang, Self-Portrait in the Bathroom Mirror

Some days, everything is a machine, by which I mean 
remove any outer covering and you will most likely 
find component parts: cogs and wheels that whir just 

Mary Jo Bang, In the Garden Behind the Master’s House Full Text

Does the erotic exist outside architecture? The shepherd 
asleep, the shepherd awake—his staff in his hand. Sweet 
are the fields of. Exiled from home am. A sandwich of 

Mary Ruefle, The Woman Who Couldn’t Describe A Thing If She Could

We have a house. There is a roof and there are windows. I think they are square. You can see through them, that’s for sure. There is a door to go into and out of the house. It works both ways. And oh, a floor.

Mary Ruefle, Milk Shake Full Text

I am never lonely and never bored. Except when I bore myself, which is my definition of loneliness—to bore oneself. It makes a body lonesome, that.

Frederick Seidel, Paris

I wear a suicide belt I detonate
And make my City of Light 
A coprophagic tomb. 

Amit Majmudar, Nostalgia

Once upon a time. Twice on her parents’ bed.
She freaked out when she found the human stain

James Tate, Untitled

I sat at my desk and contemplated all that I had accomplished
this year. I had won the hot dog eating contest on Rhode Island.

Erica Ehrenberg, Pause at the Edge of the Country

I can already taste the cheese dip in my mouth, but also the skin of his penis.

Morgan Parker, Hottentot Venus Full Text

I wish my pussy could live 
in a different shape and get
some goddamn respect.

Cynthia Zarin, Japanese Poems

Japanese Poems:

Between the bent boughs  
of the splayed sumac, the silver
owl rests his head

No. 215 Winter 2015

Mark Ford, Trial and Error

Sharon Olds, Birds in Alcoves Full Text

More and more, along the shore
of the Northeast Corridor, 
birds are standing in alcoves like telephone booths

Sharon Olds, Sloan Kettering Ode

The hospital lobby was lined with short 
and long views of Audubon’s birds,
the tallest ones’ necks curved, all the way

Henri Cole, Unstable Air

I was looking 
for the two 
black men

Henri Cole, The Party Tent

The tent men arrived bearing sledgehammers
and were young enough to be my sons.  
After rolling out the canvas, they drove rods 

Henri Cole, Red Dawn

The transfer is done in a dark room
with a red light to keep them calm.  
Still, it’s stressful, hanging upside down, 

Henri Cole, No Homecoming

Hansel and Gretel were picking strawberries 
and listening to a bronze cuckoo.  
As the forest mist thickened, 

Henri Cole, At the Grave of Robert Lowell Full Text

On this tenth day of the year, I play Stravinsky
and sip vodka from a paper cup, taking in the view.
Tendrils twining, leaves rippling, guts absorbing nutrients,

Maureen N. McLane, Mz N Woman

One day Mz N meets a woman
slightly horsefaced
hair a tangle

Maureen N. McLane, Mz N Evil

The problem of evil
can be brought home
in a classroom 

Jana Prikryl, The Moth

He’d like to be at one with his new self
but memories sit in him like eyes.

Jeff Dolven, From “A New English Grammar”

The haystack’s painting hangs in the Met;
the painting of the haystack, that is,
the one by Monet, not by van Gogh,

Samuel Beckett, Doggerels

vive morte ma seule saison
lis blancs chrysanthèmes

Kenneth Irby, Pastorale II

The fog lies thick over the bay,
                                               above Mt. Tamalpais

Anne Carson, Salon

what shape should I file my nails I wonder

follow shape of moon usually best

No. 214 Fall 2015

Michael Hofmann, Poems of 1912

You have a raspberry silk suit.
May I fuck you in it?

Michael Hofmann, Daewoo

Michael Hofmann, Smethwick

“What changed? Same maisonette in West London,
the straight shot of Talbot Road, held onto in spite of everything—
one’s original intended went away, someone else eventuated—

Michael Hofmann, Fontane

Acacias. Acacias and rain make May here, the way
lindens and rain make July. Layers of complication and sorrow, 
which precipitate as opinion. Brusque. Off-kilter. Uncalled-for.

Ange Mlinko, Breeze Blocks in The Wild Hollyhocks

There should be a healthy trade 
in sandbags. Cement should be 
our chief export. Some of it’s made 

Ange Mlinko, Trobairitz (Estat ai en greu cossiries . . . ) Full Text

As the undisputed delivery system 
for this pathogen, 
you ought to be attending me, 

Stephen Dunn, In Other Words Full Text

When it comes to the underworld
and the fragility of guesswork, 
what makes us think the dead 

Stephen Dunn, The Famous Man

We knew he was dead
because the dead don’t smile
unless someone works hard

Stephen Dunn, Creatures

The dolphin was all undulation,
riding its whims and churning 
the ocean, dorsal fin and bottlenose

Kevin Prufer, The Adulterer

Kevin Prufer, The Believer

Only his old dog recognized him when, 
after twenty years,
Odysseus returned to Ithaka.

Linda Pastan, The Collected Poems

They take you through my life
one poem at a time,
memory’s beast raging
through the pages

Nathaniel Mackey, Song of the Andoumboulou: 145 Full Text

The morning’s horn extended a palmful of 
   sand. I felt a dry sprig on my face, frozen

Geoffrey G. O’Brien, Sonnets So Far

The past of having makes the present
Bleed and then we’re asked to
Forget it like imagined slights

Eileen Myles, Circus

Jill tells me about the
show she is making

No. 213 Summer 2015

D. Nurkse, The Estonian Classics

The house burst into flame. That’s a cliché, I thought, burst into flame. For I had been reading day and night. Perhaps I left the stove on after cooking an omelet. Or let the lint cake inside the dryer. Such was the fascination of the book, though scholars who study it all their lives, lives that pass in a breath, claim it has no answers. I held my copy close to my chest, 

D. Nurkse, Learning To Read

Here is the world, right beside me,
a little garden with a swing,
some dirt and a red shovel,

D. Nurkse, First Love Full Text

I am a child acting Romeo.
I love Juliet desperately
but I cannot say it.

Xi Chuan, Awake In Nanjing

the instant the sky wakes my eyes are shut I’m listening to the rainfall huh 
 huh huh listening to half a lifetime of rainfall isn’t romantic
the sound of rainfall approaching unites with the sound of a solitary car

Xi Chuan, Mourning Problems Full Text

an ant dies, and no one mourns
a bird dies, and no one mourns if it isn’t a crested ibis
a monkey dies, and monkeys mourn

Radmila Lazić, Secret Embroidery

In my spiderweb
You got caught,
My precious.

Radmila Lazić, Love Full Text

I sharpened knives
All night.
To welcome you

John Koethe, The Swimmer

Photo: sitting by the cabin on Lake Au Train
We rented every summer, reading John Cheever,

Ishion Hutchinson, The Difference

They talk oil in heavy jackets and plaid over 
their coffee, they talk Texas and the north cold,

Nick Twemlow, Attributed to the Harrow Painter

When I was twelve, 
My tennis coach asked me 
To pose for him after practice.

Peter Cole, The Unsure Moralist Full Text

I’m tired of life and its troubles.
Whoever lives as long as I have or will
grows weary: it’s inevitable.

Iman Mersal, The Curse of Small Creatures

The women examined you with furrowed brows, looking as though they had been toasted by years of sun.


Coral Bracho, The Signal of His Urge

If the Emperor smiles
a thread falls that cuts

No. 212 Spring 2015

Peter Gizzi, Song

I want color to braid,
to bleed, want song 
to fly to flex to think

Peter Gizzi, Pretty Sweety Full Text

Here there are small animals 
foraging and content
Perhaps this is what’s called 


Peter Gizzi, The Winter Sun Says Fight

The winter sun says fight.
The arctic blasts say fight.
This polar world is flat


Charles Simic, Mystery Theater

Bald man smoking in bed,
Naked lightbulb over his head,
The shadow of his cigar 


Charles Simic, A Life of Vice Begins in the Cradle

Grandpa loved crawling
Under the skirts of his mother’s friends
As they sat on the porch

Charles Simic, January Full Text

Children’s fingerprints
On a frozen window
Of a small schoolhouse.

Susan Stewart, What Piranesi Knew

        as he drew the silhouettes

against the vast

         machinery, suspending them,

Susan Stewart, After the Mowing

The season of the cut and clear. The bales squared
in the distance, a hollow house, no windows or doors.
The Ns of the fence posts, perforated shadows.

Stephen Dunn, The Owner of the Boutique at Redwood Falls

There came a time when she found pleasure
in saying the word pussy, alert to see whom it shocked

Craig Morgan Teicher, Book Review: ‘The Mountain Lion’ by Jean Stafford

Spoiler alert: Jean Stafford, in her
all-but-out-of-print masterwork

Major Jackson, Italy

for Derek Walcott

Shuzo Takiguchi, The Fish’s Desire

Virginal decorations.
The pain of countless upside-down candles.

Sarah Trudgeon, In the Red

Dementia’s wheeled to the window
for the fireworks, like boneless 

No. 211 Winter 2014

Cathy Park Hong, The Vanishing Full Text

I want to write like a man, probing
my glitchy mind like it’s the rarest orchid.
But I’m cowed,

Cathy Park Hong, Trouble in Mind

A heartvein throbs between her brows: Ketty-San’s
incensed another joke’s made at her expense,
With characters of granite schist, she hashtags a ban

Cathy Park Hong, Happy Days

Garçon, you snore so rhapsodically but hup hup,
peach schnapps & Coke Zero
with a gumball-green mermaid swizzle stick—

Phillis Levin, Another Room Full Text

There is another room
You could spend time in.
What a shame not to enter

Phillis Levin, Dandelion

Ferocious flower
Cast out
Dent de lion

Phillis Levin, Gulf

Imagine a dot
On the horizon: that is
Him, your beloved.

Sylvie Baumgartel, The Ponte Vecchio Full Text

The Ponte Vecchio was built
For butcher shops.
The river stitched with bridges

Sylvie Baumgartel, Pink

George W made a painting & painted his toes pink
Like the meat I eat
& the color of my baby’s penis.

Frederick Seidel, The Ballad of Ferguson, Missouri Full Text

A man unzipping his fly is vulnerable to attack.
Then the zipper got stuck.
An angel flies in the window to unstick it.

Frederick Seidel, Monday Morning

The man ejaculates a blood-red rose.
The woman looks on in astonishment.
The sun pours in

Frederick Seidel, Sunshine

I had a stroke and I’m not me.
I’ve been disfigured horribly.
Little did you know that I

Frederick Seidel, Montauk

The technician squeezes the bulb to tighten the cuff
To take my blood pressure for a second time today
Next to the professional scales I stood on that showed I weighed enough

Frederick Seidel, Poet at Seventy-Eight

You wonder who in the world are the people who actually use stool cards.
They’re the very same scum who sell drugs to little kids in school yards.
The doctor tells you do this, do that.

Frederick Seidel, Liftoff

On the other side of the street, the buildings sit on smoke,
About to lift off—it’s spring!
Cosmonauts and astronauts comfortably in their apartments in armchairs

Jana Prikryl, Thirty Thousand Islands

My mind went on composing its account at night,
I could hear it tracing glyphs on the hard substance

Jeff Dolven, Discretion is the Very Soul of Your Pants Pocket

Discretion is the very soul of your pants pocket:
first, because your pocket hides whatever you put in it,

Brenda Shaughnessy, In This Economy

No. 210 Fall 2014

Devin Johnston, Forty-Four Full Text

In a deck chair
under castellated clouds
Campari and tonic

Devin Johnston, Slow Spring

Not days of anger
but days of irritation,
light through dirty glass,

Maureen N. McLane, Peony Full Text

There’s a woman
walks through me
sits at the table

Maureen N. McLane, Mount Mansfield

The stream is frozen
except what’s flowing
below what’s frozen.

Maureen N. McLane, Girls in Bed

You are in bed
and Antigone’s dead
once again though offstage

Karen Solie, Lord of Fog Full Text

It rises from the North Atlantic’s stacks
as radio silence, a generalized lack
of discursive tone or narrative movement distinguished

Karen Solie, Museum of the Thing II

And now the objects return. Chief interests
of their divine secular lives no longer
idle. Thought anticipates them, but they aren’t

Karen Solie, Museum of the Thing

Sad storm of objects becoming things,
the objective correlative, tired of me
as I am of it. I embody everything it hates

Karen Solie, Darkland

Reclaimed from brushwood,
from coarse rank grass interspersed
with stagnant bog water,

Brenda Shaughnessy, Life’s Work

The round white knob
on the dresser drawer—

Linda Pastan, Consider the Space Between Stars

Consider the white space
between words on a page, not just

Frederick Seidel, Aeneidos Liber Quartus

I don’t read.
I read Rilke and bleed.

Ben Lerner, Contre-Jour

          The light that changes
the light that goes out

Stephen Dunn, The Melancholy of the Nude Full Text

She was thinking it was time
to be naked again, to take something off

No. 209 Summer 2014

Henri Cole, The Rock

It’s nice to have a lake to love me,
that can see under all my disguises—
where there is only animal survival

Henri Cole, Dandelions

In the dream,
a priest said
it was time

Henri Cole, Extraordinary Geraniums Full Text

Eating a sugar sandwich, I sit at the kitchen table
admiring the geraniums outside the window,
their big heads as American as Martha Washington.

Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Kingdom Come Full Text

Not knowing the difference between Heaven
And Paradise, he called them both Heaven.
So when he shrugged at the thought of a god

Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Monday Morning in Snowmass, Colorado

The wintered trees shine white in the white sun
Daydreaming of West Indian dawn—,
Of palms that line the bright back of a beach,

Ange Mlinko, Wind Farm, Texas Full Text

Roadside grasses are seen
to vary, stem and thistledown:
pale straw or light brown,

Ange Mlinko, Bolivar

Birds don’t care that the land is ugly,
decorated with handsome cattle
and advertisements for elk jerky

Charles Simic, Scribbled in the Dark

Sat up
Like a firecracker
In bed,

Charles Simic, The Feast

Dine in style tonight
With your misery, Adele.
Put on your silver wig

Charles Simic, Oh, Memory Full Text

You’ve been paying visits
To that hunchbacked tailor
In his long-torn-down shop,

Charles Simic, The Escapee

The name of a girl I once loved
Flew off the tip of my tongue
In the street today,

Les Murray, A Denizen

The octopus is dead
who lived in Wylies Baths

Jane Hirshfield, A Cottony Fate

Long ago, someone
told me: avoid or.

Thomas Sayers Ellis, Polo Goes to the Moon

  There’s been
 a lot of talk,

Adam Kirsch, My Wife in Joy and Sorrow, 1911

Bewildered now to be so unalike,
Who were for one another from the start

Nick Laird, Watermelon Seed

If you extract the compact planet,
roughly sketched with jungle, wetlands,

No. 208 Spring 2014

Dorothea Lasky, Porn Full Text

All types of porn are horrific
I just watched a woman fuck a hired hand
In her marble kitchen while her friends looked on

Dorothea Lasky, Dawn Song

When I hear sweet songs I think of you
I don’t know why, but I do
When I hear sweet songs I think of you

Dorothea Lasky, The Orange Flower

What is between us
Is an orange flower

And it is blooming and blooming

Dorothea Lasky, The Rain

What is going to happen
Is that it’s going to rain
Rain my love

Frederick Seidel, Snowing

Snow is falling on Broadway 
Through weeping willows of fog.
I know that my Redeemer liveth  

Frederick Seidel, Hip-Hop

I’m a stallion standing in my stable stall asleep.  
Horses do that and their standing sleep is deep.
A woman with a whip waits for me to wake

Frederick Seidel, Winter Day, Birdsong

At seventy-seven I reached my prime.
But seventy-eight was also absolutely great.
And then came fab seventy-nine and continuing to climb.

Frederick Seidel, Autumn Leaves Full Text

Plop the live lobster into boiling water and let it scream.
You both turn red. 
Of course you have to eat it dead. 
There can be unfertilized roe 

Frederick Seidel, The End of Summer Full Text

I’m from St. Louis and Budweiser.
I’m from the Seidel Coal and Coke Company and the Mississippi.
I’m from the old streets near Forest Park,
And T. S. Eliot, and the B-movie actress Virginia Mayo.

John Ashbery, The Sad Thing

He has a lazy father in Minnesota.

I hope you never have to do this in life, with its crazy little darkened
rooms. People are standing, an accurate jumble. Famille rose happy campers.

John Ashbery, The Ritz Brothers on Moonlight Bay

We talked about the great error
that you can live with
and really can’t afford to get.

John Ashbery, Psychic Bitters Full Text

Did he describe the blue stripe again,
unelected governor?
And from trees to hospitals, one story

Geoffrey G. O’Brien, For a Those Still About To

I meant to wake up and had or had not
To the lines from an ordinary song
I saw my problem as that line

Geoffrey G. O’Brien, After England Full Text

My voice carries further, almost
All the way to the face, I go
But not forth, or I went suspended

Nick Laird, XY

When he slide it in the slot and press
the buttons in their order, wait,

Carol Muske-Dukes, No Hands

No. 207 Winter 2013

Sylvie Baumgartel, Caprice

My mother confuses Topeka with Toledo.
My father confuses me with my mother.
Spain didn’t conquer Kansas,

Sylvie Baumgartel, Gramercy Park Full Text

The windows around Gramercy have eyes.
We look, they look back.
A brook cut through the swamp.

Monica Youn, March of the Hanged Men Full Text

hyperarticulated giant black ants endlessly boiling out of a heaped-up hole
in the sand

Monica Youn, Exhibition of the Hanged Man

To spectate
is a verb
that does not

Charlie Smith, Bus to Tuxtla

Sometimes you wait a while for the bus—
the bus of happiness

Emily Moore, Ghazal

She was older, sleek, and had a bite to her,
but I was bolder with my knees on either side of her.

Linda Pastan, Last Rites

She’s given up sex.
She’s given up travel.

Hilda Hilst, From “Alcohologues”

The coat of Italian red eyes me. Wool
Unraveling from abuse,

Susan Stewart, Pine Full Text

a homely word:
a plosive, a long cry, a quiet stop, a silent letter

Kevin Prufer, How He Loved Them Full Text

How much the colonel loved his granddaughters
you will never know.

No. 206 Fall 2013

Frederick Seidel, Song to the Moon Full Text

You’re born that way—or else you’re not.
It’s snowing—or else it’s hot.
It’s like the strangeness, that’s also natural,

Frederick Seidel, Widening Income Inequality

I live a life of appetite and, yes, that’s right,
I live a life of privilege in New York,
Eating buttered toast in bed with cunty fingers on Sunday morning.

Luigia Sorrentino, “even higher…”

even higher
among the oaks
there is nothing but oaks

Luigia Sorrentino, “we had climbed up the mountain…” Full Text

we had climbed up the mountain
towards the colossal figure of the temple
now reduced to ruins

Charles Simic, Thus

The long day has ended in which so much
And so little had happened.
Great hopes were dashed,

Charles Simic, The Bamboo Garden

Bad luck, my very own, sit down and listen to me:
You make yourself scarce for months at the time
Making preparations for some new calamity,

Charles Simic, About Myself

I’m the uncrowned king of the insomniacs
Who still fights his ghosts with a sword,
A student of ceilings and closed doors

Charles Simic, So Early in the Morning Full Text

It pains me to see an old woman fret over
A few small coins outside a grocery store—
How swiftly I forget her as my own grief

Dan Chiasson, Bicentennial

Moving as a mind moves across a math problem,
Or an eye across a lover’s body,

Craig Morgan Teicher, Why Poetry: A Partial Autobiography

As if in answer to a primordial urge,
I longed for something

Maureen N. McLane, As I Was Saying, the Sun

& the moon and all stars
you can name
are fantastic!

Durs Grünbein, Peacocks on Broadway

Everything’s a couple sizes bigger: a sky
Cutting deep into the streets, hydrants


Jana Prikryl, “A Place as Good as Any”

Outside the funeral of the politician who died young
I waited for you. Rolled in my hand like a baton

Rowan Ricardo Phillips, The Mind After Everything Has Happened

Perpetual peace. Perpetual light.
From a distance it all seems graffiti.

No. 205 Summer 2013

Patrizia Cavalli, “When, thanks to the virtues of wine,…”

When, thanks to the virtues of wine,
I let go of solid memory and a certain pleasure
seems almost real to me

Patrizia Cavalli, “Isn’t it amazing that one evening…”

Isn’t it amazing that one evening
sliding the bread into its paper sack
I start all over with the same old speech,

Patrizia Cavalli, “Oh really, she’s with somebody?…”

Oh really, she’s with somebody?
So she’s with somebody.
Is she really with somebody?

Patrizia Cavalli, “But you, are you Christians?…”

But you, are you Christians?
So be it, you are Christians.
At night one could be.

Patrizia Cavalli, “In the seething almost Indian heat…”

In the seething almost Indian heat
of an exaggerated July in the city
the remaining inhabitants cautiously

Patrizia Cavalli, “To look at beauty and never make it yours…”

To look at beauty and never make it yours.
If it weren’t this way you’d look at yourself
that is you’d have nothing more to look at,

Patrizia Cavalli, “There she is turned into a lollipop…”

There she is turned into a lollipop
a large egg-shaped lollipop,
not passed around, but twirled in the mouth,

Patrizia Cavalli, “Very simple love that believes in words,…” Full Text

Very simple love that believes in words,
since I cannot do what I want to do,
can neither hug nor kiss you,

Patrizia Cavalli, “Surely it’s ridiculous maybe even scandalous…” Full Text

Surely it’s ridiculous maybe even scandalous
that I feel such overpowering envy
for the eleven-year-old son who’s dozing

Patrizia Cavalli, “You sit at the head of the table…” Full Text

You sit at the head of the table
heady with wine,
and hold forth,

Henri Cole, Free Dirt Full Text

My house is mine:
the choice of menu,
the radio and television,

Henri Cole, Self-Portrait With Rifle

Why do they lie down
when I shoot them?
Such open,

Henk Rossouw, The Dream of the Road

Charles Harper Webb, Respect

Rachel Hadas, The Veil and the Baby

Donna Stonecipher, From “Model City”

Karl Kirchwey, A Hundred Years from Now

Gretchen Marquette, Ode to a Man in Dress Clothes

Geoffrey Brock, Dental Hygiene Through the Ages

D. Nurkse, Secret of the Lit Window

No. 204 Spring 2013

Kevin Young, from Winehouse

The world is your lawyer.
Pawn-shop pearls.
Hair like telegraph wire.

Melcion Mateu, Abyss

You and I, when we sleep, we’re like whales
because fish swim out of my mouth
and you dishevel the seaweed.

Ange Mlinko, Wingandecoia

Whoso list to hunt it with a camera?
The Carolina parrot is extinct.
Hunted to nothing emerald.

Tony Hoagland, White Writer

Obviously, it’s a category I’ve been made aware of
        from time to time.

It’s been pointed out that my characters eat a lot of lightly braised asparagus

John Freeman, Beirut

That rusting water tower collapsing
on its ruin was the movie theater
where you sat in smoky consternation

Stephen Dunn, Feathers

If a lone feather fell from the sky,
like a paper plane wafting down
from a tree house where a quiet boy

Sylvie Baumgartel, Three Poems

We began to meet there
On the mops.
After school, during the siesta,

Peter Cole, From “The Invention of Influence”

Precisely this
        afflicts the plagiarist,
or something like

Frederick Seidel, Pussy Days

Putting my lenses in, I see No Man’s Land in the mirror—
Which makes me think of times in Tokyo so long ago 
When, on some subway station platform, in a crowd,

No. 203 Winter 2012

Steven Cramer, Lackawanna

My brain had been swiped clean.
I couldn’t love
songs I loved; friends came

Yasiin Bey, One Called Trill

At the threshold

Geoffrey Hill, Three Poems

Fantastic to be Lowry by proxy,
Confabulating him; to stand tongue-tied
In awe of yourself; to hold epoxy-

Regan Good, The Wasps’ House

Mortared by macerated wood-pulp effluvium,
                                 a paper palace hangs.

The young queen spun her eggs and hatched her grunts.


Joshua Mehigan, Two Poems

This is my lawn. I planted it, I grew it, 
and I work hard ensuring it’s attractive. 
I keep it clear of every type of pest.

Linda Pastan, Ah, Friend

in the black hood, 
come! Pierce 
my heart

Ben Lerner, No Art

Tonight I can’t remember why
everything is permitted or, 
what amounts to the same thing,

Devin Johnston, Means of Escape

The courtroom, clad in wood veneer,
could be a lesser pharaoh’s tomb
equipped for immortality.

No. 202 Fall 2012

August Kleinzahler, The Rapture of Vachel Lindsay

I am, Madam., no beggar, but a peddler of dreams,
Purveyor of the 
Gospel of Beauty, Reciter of Rhymes...

And they regarded him from the shadows of their porches,

Jason Zuzga, Liquid Courage

I open a volume of fluid. 
A bright sloth orphanage glints 
from the screen within the screen, 

George Seferis, Helen

Teukros: . . . in sea-girt island: Cyprus, where it was written
        by Apollo I should live, naming the city Salamis
        to remember my island home

Guillaume Apollinaire, Ten Poems

Our story is noble and tragic
As the face of a tyrant not fun not for everyone
No drama or magic

Bernadette Mayer, Three Poems

besides not being from ancient troy
helen bailey hails from australia
her middle name is hypatia, her mother 

James Fenton, Four Poems

        Aiee, father of mine, father of mine,
        What are these shouts in the rain, these voices in the air?
        The petal is ripped from the flower, the branch from the tree.

No. 201 Summer 2012

Raúl Zurita, The Pacific Is the Sky

      So torrents of the Seventh,
    Fifth and Ninth. Riverbeds of
   Bach, Beethoven and Amadeus
rapids of the sky, peaks and pastures

David Ferry, That Now Are Wild and Do Not Remember

Where did you go to, when you went away?
It is as if you step by step were going
Someplace elsewhere into some other range

Lucie Brock-Broido, Posthumous Seduction

The orchard grew excellent,

Good mass of apples assembling, one angel burned, looped
On the wire fence, in a bowl of gold most satisfactory.

Octavio Paz, Target Practice

The tide covers, discovers, recovers, and always walks in the nude.
The tide weaves and unweaves, embraces and separates, is never the same and
      never another.

John Ashbery, Three Poems

This is the platform of the famous sideshow,
all of us participating, glad to be arm and arm
as spring charges down the battlefield. Let’s see,

Sophie Cabot Black, Online Again

I know what you search, going further
Than promised, your refusal to look up
As if something might never be found;

Roberto Bolaño, Five Poems

When Lisa told me she’d made love
to someone else, in that old Tepeyac warehouse
phone booth, I thought my world

No. 200 Spring 2012

Frederick Seidel, Transport

The time is coming when it won’t be maintenance.
The time is coming when it won’t be minimal.
I walk with my long-dead dog up a hill.

Frederick Seidel, Poems 1959–2009

I turn into the man they photograph.
I think I’ll ask him for his autograph.
He’s older than I am and more distinguished.

Frederick Seidel, Cimetière du Montparnasse, 
12ème division

I have a friend who has a friend 
Who asked her to place her hand
And place a flower on Samuel Beckett’s grave

Frederick Seidel, The Green Necklace

I’m going out for a stroll and a bite and won’t take myself with me.
Look after me while I’m gone, will you.
Outside the bleary windows is my sunny city.

Frederick Seidel, Night Full Text

The city sleeps with the lights on.
The insomniac wants it to be morning.
The quadruple amputee asks the night nurse what time it is.

Maureen N. McLane, Tell Us What Happened After We Left

Ferns here ferns there
I dream of my newest friends                         
who soon subside    

Maureen N. McLane, All Good Full Text

a “beautiful day”
nothing happened
and nothing was going to happen

Yusef Komunyakaa, Blind Fish

Caught here in your limestone cave,
lost in a limbo of slow water torture,
for you, each day is night always.

Yusef Komunyakaa, Night of the Armadillo Full Text

You huddle into a shield or breastplate,
a whisper in the dark summoning your kin 
one by one along the frontier. In your kingdom,

Nicanor Parra, Defense of Violeta Parra

Sweet neighbor of the green forest 
Eternal guest of April in bloom 
Archenemy of the brambleberry 

Susan Barbour, Insomnia

I have been courting sleep
and catering to its taste in nightgowns.

Stephen Dunn, Sea Level

Down from the mountains of Appalachia
and the highs of new love
I’ve come across the extended monotonies

Adrienne Rich, Itinerary Full Text

Burnt by lightning    nevertheless
she’ll walk this terra infinita

lashes singed on her third eye 

Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Heralds of Delicioso Coco Helado

The moods of the cantaloupe king are moods
Of the melon king in green variations.

No. 199 Winter 2011

David Wagoner, Having Served His Time

The model prisoner
edges his way through
the narrow gap between

David Wagoner, Under Arrest Full Text

It means stand still. It means
stay just as sweet as you are
and where you are and don’t do

Jonathan Galassi, Barn Owl Song

If a man is his desire 
if a man is his desire 
if a man is his desire 

Jonathan Galassi, August

This world so 
golden so un- 
reachable this 

Jonathan Galassi, Once

the train has left the 
station you can’t take it. 
Once the promise has been 

Jonathan Galassi, Middle-aged Full Text

He was middle-aged which 
means that the mixture of 
death and life in him was 

Jonathan Galassi, The Crossing

When cloud cover com- 
plicates the crossing 
all we can do is look 

Jonathan Galassi, Young Full Text

 I tried, and each attempt was a fiasco. 
I yearned, but every love of mine was wrong. 
I needed, and the shame was overwhelming. 

Ange Mlinko, Alexander's Naming Of Winds

If you’d seen
        lightning nets in clear water, 
midnight blue beyond the reefs;

Ange Mlinko, from The Lamiyya After al-Shanfara Full Text

On leftovers ana breakfast   like the spleenish wulf the wéstenas chase. 

He sets out hungry,   nose in the wind, up the wulfhleoþu

After a luckless trek,   he gilleþ; and gaunt companions answer 

Gottfried Benn, Rowans

Rowans—not yet fully rowan red 
not yet in that tone they take on later 
of ember, berry, October, and death. 

Gottfried Benn, Despair


Things you said in drugstores 
when buying painkillers 
or at your tailor’s 

Gottfried Benn, Never Lonelier Full Text

Never lonelier than in August: 
hour of plenitude—in the country 
the red and golden tassels, 

Gottfried Benn, Songs


O that we might be our ancestors’ ancestors. 
A clump of slime in a warm bog. 
Life and death, fertilizing and parturition 

Gottfried Benn, Circulation Full Text

The solitary molar of a streetwalker 
whose body had gone unclaimed 
had a gold filling. 

Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Over the Counties of Kings and Queens Came the Second Idea

After a long night swimming
In the dry dark of a book
I heard outside my window 

No. 198 Fall 2011

Brenda Shaughnessy, Liquid Flesh

In a light chocolatine room 
with blackout windows, 
a loud clock drowns in soft dawn’s

Brenda Shaughnessy, All Possible Pain Full Text

Feelings seem like made-up things, 
though I know they’re not.   
I don’t understand why they lead me

Jeff Dolven, My Puppets Full Text

I wake up mornings snug in my bed-puppet.
Not the liveliest in my repertoire,
but wait, it gets better: next is my pants-puppet,

Jeff Dolven, Quarter

Catch! It’s a quarter, right? You got it? Good.
Now, pinch the flat between your first two fingers,
press hard against the milling with your thumb,

Meghan O’Rourke, Pike's Peak

In the shadow
of the mountain
quarters click 

Meghan O’Rourke, Theory vs. Practice Full Text

Our ménage à trois by candlelight—;
the various absurdities: black lace,
pink mules, a little-bo-peep teddy. 

Forrest Gander, Body Visible

Then he deflowers her, pulling away the greenery.
Then a blue vein thinning into a hollow.
Then it is the hollow between her neck and lower jaw.

Paul Muldoon, Required Fields

Then we could ride all day and yet 
not reach the farthest edge of our demesne,
its slow hand clap of grouse

Constantine P. Cavafy, In Despair

He’s gone from him forever,     and ever since he’s sought
his lips on the lips of every     boy he goes to bed with,
wanting to fool himself         into thinking those are the very

Sharon Olds, The Haircut

A year after he left I thought of the day he’d been 
sick and I’d cut my then-husband’s hair 
to cheer him up. First I combed it, 

No. 197 Summer 2011

Kevin Prufer, Baby

A baby’s head is fragile, 
                       pale as an egg and thin. 
Hit the brakes 

Kevin Prufer, Churches Full Text

In 1981 
          in a hotel gift shop outside Phoenix, AZ, 
a little girl stood by the postcard rack, turning it gently. 

Lia Purpura, On Form

It’s that feeling again:
pinecone going
wristbone, phone, eye

Lia Purpura, Noosphere Full Text

At your center: 
spectacles to sharpen sight,
wake of two white birds’ liftoff,

Frederick Seidel, Arabia Full Text

I move my body meat smell next to yours,
Your spice of Zanzibar. Mine rains, yours pours—
Sex tropics as a way to not be dead.

No. 196 Spring 2011

Chris Andrews, Prop

I prop up the dog and wait for him to pee.
Three a.m. A phrase goes floating through my head:
“A still Prussian-blue night with rather weak stars.”

Chris Andrews, Sonic Age Full Text

Sounds that came into the world in my lifetime        
already sound old-fangled: dial-up modems,
the implosion of a television tube 

Various Authors, Five Poems of Kabbalah

 From the sky to the heavens’ heavens                                
 From the heavens’ heavens to the darkness on high                
     From the darkness on high to the upper dwelling       

Linda Gregerson, Slaters’ Measure

        Swept Valley

Which sounds like something the wind
        would do:        

Stephen Dunn, Leaving the Empty Room Full Text

The door had a double lock, 
and the joke was on me. 
You might call it protection 

Clare Rossini, The Nitro Full Text

I wanted sky. That was my ambition. And now I’m being tugged 
Up a small steel mountain,

A burly chain beneath the car hauling my weight 

No. 195 Winter 2010

Dana Levin, In Honor of Xipe

    with a birther’s goo, it  
    gleams up green from the ground—  

Albert Goldbarth, Minnows, Darters, Sturgeon

That there’s a fun in funeral 
is goofus etymology, but a sensible reminder 
of the secret life in everything . . . how inside dear 

Jim Moore, Blood in Our Headlights, Car Wrecked, the Boar Dead

Out of the darkness, men come 
     with knives. They work quickly, 
muttering back and forth. 

Brian Blanchfield, Smalltown Lift Full Text

One last stop, he says. And they drive to Westside Lanes. 
I grew up bowling. I don’t want to bowl. It was raining. 
We’re not going to bowl, the circus carpet dark with gum 

Damion Searls, 808 A.D. Full Text

Not too old, not young anymore, 
almost three dozen years gone by. 
Not a failure, not a success— 

Maureen N. McLane, Three Poems

That man over there 
looking sidelong 
as you sidelong 

Devin Johnston, Two Poems

I made this up from nothing. 
It’s not myself I sing, 
or love, or anything 

No. 194 Fall 2010

Charles Harper Webb, Sand Fish

It’s said they started in beach sand,
but now it’s Gobi, Sahara, Mojave grit
the fish sift through their gills, absorbing 

Daniel Bosch, Solutions to Autumn Full Text

September, with a paintbrush, on Monadnock.
October, in the backyard, with a silencer.
November, on a windowpane, with a skate blade.

Dorothea Lasky, It's a Lonely World

It’s a lonely world
Hi everybody
It’s Dorothea, Dorothea Lasky

John Tranter, Four Poems After Baudelaire

In the good old days mutations appeared everywhere, 
and every second baby was a monster.  
I wish I could have lived then, neighbor 

Giacomo Leopardi, Two Poems

When as a child
I came to be schooled by the Muses,
one of them took me by the hand,

Mark Ford, Four Poems

After Africa, Surbiton:
An unheated house, and flag-stoned pavements;
No colobus monkeys, no cheetahs scouring the plains.

Frederick Seidel, Five Poems

I smile in the mirror at my teeth—
Which are their usual brown.
My smile is wearing a wreath.

Carol Muske-Dukes, Condolence Note: Los Angeles

The sky is desert blue,
Like the pool. Secluded.
No swimmers here. No smog—

No. 193 Summer 2010

Deborah Pease, Self-Portrait in Iceland Full Text

The face is featureless,
As though bound in tight gauze,

Deborah Pease, Sheep in Landscape

(After a painting by Louisa Matthíasdóttir)

Peg Boyers, At the Guggenheim Museum, Venice

I am straddling Marini’s horse
using the horseman’s cock as my handle

James Longenbach, Knowledge

Of the vastness of clouds
We knew nothing;

Ron De Maris, Old Cadillac

Julia Story, Four Poems

Jorie Graham, Three Poems

Matthew Zapruder, Come On All You Ghosts

I heard a little cough 
in the room, and turned 

No. 192 Spring 2010

Chloe Honum, Fever

J. Allyn Rosser, Sore Ga, Doshita

Deborah Landau, Dear Someone Full Text

my emptiness has a lake in it   deep and watery 
with several temperaments      milk  cola  beer 

Sarah Cohen, The Invisible Hand

Linda Pastan, Eve on Her Deathbed Full Text

In the end we are no more than our own stories: 
mine a few brief passages in the Book, 

Alexander Nemser, The Encyclopedia of the Dead

Charles Simic, Six Poems

That was the year the Nazis marched into Vienna, 
Superman made his debut in Action Comics,