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Poetry: 2010s

Poem of the Day

Caligula

By D. Nurkse

after Suetonius

Caligula ordered the night city illuminated.
Every stoop, porch, or balcony was a stage.

He made the senators dress as prostitutes—
tight silk skirts, paste-on eyelashes.
Up to a matron to wriggle into a boy’s shorts.

Marcus Severus, one-armed veteran
of our labyrinthine border wars,
had to hobble into the amphitheater
armed with a plume and attack a lion.

A plume! We were fascinated.
We were all players, who was the audience?

Twelve-Year Universal Horoscope

By Charles Bernstein

Key: A Aries, T Taurus, G Gemini, C Cancer, L Leo, V Virgo, Li Libra, S Scorpio,
Sa Sagittarius, Ca Capricorn, Aq Aquarius, P Pisces. Each section covers one year,
then rotates.

A2019, T2020, G2021, C2022, L2023, V2024, Li2025, S2026, Sa2027, Ca2028, Aq2029, P2030
Anticipated reversals occur in unanticipated locations: avoid planar surfaces. As Saturn and Pluto come into alignment, prepare for irrepressible nostalgia. Casual attachments provide a medley of diversions from long-term fantasies. Mix of sulfur and magnesium is at its height on the twelfth and twenty-ninth: stay clear of disarticulating headwinds while remaining open to miscalibrated address. Seek pine- and coconut-flavored dishes. Preferred alcohol: Anisette (neat).

Cora

By Anders Carlson-Wee

The rats want what we have. They come at night and scratch
in the kitchen, the pantry, looking for a way in. Most nights
they only get at the bin below the sink. Leave them alone,
North says, but I keep jamming steel wool into cracks. Our
place is saggy plywood shelves, couches found on corners,
tables made from crates and pallets—whatever we can’t push
in our sales. We’re not actually moving, but we throw a
moving sale every couple months. Fuck a yard sale. A moving
sale makes people hungry.