2012 // July


July 2012

A Litany in Time of Plague, by Thomas Nashe — Adieu, farewell, earth’s bliss; This world uncertain is; Fond are life’s lustful joys; Death proves them all but toys; None from his darts can fly; I am sick, I must die. Lord, have mercy on us! Rich men, trust not in wealth, Gold cannot buy you health; Physic himself must fade. All things to end […]

A Note on Absence, by Martin Corless-Smith — The story over having wished it otherwise The water surface/friendship The drunk euphoric Good Friday music Not in this lifetime A fig tree grows No miserable deed will do Space and time, dimensions that just bring more of this For anyone who has a nose Show gratitude A king sat in a box 8 p.m. […]

A Wicker Basket, by Robert Creeley — Comes the time when it’s later and onto your table the headwaiter puts the bill, and very soon after rings out the sound of lively laughter– Picking up change, hands like a walrus, and a face like a barndoor’s, and a head without any apparent size, nothing but two eyes– So that’s you, man, or […]

Bent Orbit, by Elaine Equi — I wind my way across a black donut hole and space that clunks. Once I saw on a stage, as if at the bottom of a mineshaft, the precise footwork of some mechanical ballet. It was like looking into the brain of a cuckoo clock and it carried some part of me away forever. No […]

Birches, by Robert Frost — When I see birches bend to left and right Across the lines of straighter darker trees, I like to think some boy’s been swinging them. But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay As ice-storms do. Often you must have seen them Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning After a rain. They click upon […]

Cognitive Deficit Market, by Joshua Corey — She has forgotten what she forgot this morning: her keys, toast in the toaster blackening the insides of beloved skulls, little planetariums projecting increasingly incomplete and fanciful constellations: the Gravid Ass, the Mesozoic Cartwheel, the Big Goatee, the Littlest Fascist. Outside her window a crowd gathers, seething in white confusion like milk boiling dry in […]

Eating Poetry, by Mark Strand — Ink runs from the corners of my mouth. There is no happiness like mine. I have been eating poetry. The librarian does not believe what she sees. Her eyes are sad and she walks with her hands in her dress. The poems are gone. The light is dim. The dogs are on the basement stairs […]

Falling, by James Dickey — A 29-year-old stewardess fell … to her death tonight when she was swept through an emergency door that suddenly sprang open … The body … was found … three hours after the accident. —New York Times The states when they black out and lie there rolling when they turn To something transcontinental move by drawing […]

Father Outside, by Nick Flynn and Josh Neufeld — A black river flows down the center of each page & on either side the banks are wrapped in snow. My father is ink falling in tiny blossoms, a bottle wrapped in a paperbag. I want to believe that if I get the story right we will rise, newly formed, that I will stand over […]

For the Twentieth Century, by Frank Bidart — Bound, hungry to pluck again from the thousand technologies of ecstasy boundlessness, the world that at a drop of water rises without boundaries, I push the PLAY button:– . . .Callas, Laurel & Hardy, Szigeti you are alive again,– the slow movement of K.218 once again no longer bland, merely pretty, nearly banal, as it […]

from People Close To You, by Crystal Williams — I. She asks if she can sit on the bench & it is that kind of day in Santa Monica, slow & gentle so that when she sits, properly, like a teacher or the pudgy mother of a girl named Marilyn, in unison you raise your round faces. The wind hefts the voices of your […]

Ghost Notes [excerpt], by Ralph Burns — for Danny Fletcher I. Call and Response 1 Plumbline of disaster, shadow storage of the way thought travels, the opinion, the sentiment, only assertion following silence, only a way of everlasting breathing, a verb searching for grammar too devoted to making sense so that the self interrupts with a final pitch. From stop to […]

I am the People, the Mob, by Carl Sandburg — I am the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass. Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me? I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the world’s food and clothes. I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons come from me and the Lincolns. They die. And then […]

I Hear America Singing, by Walt Whitman — I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear, Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong, The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam, The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work, The boatman singing what belongs to him […]

It sifts from Leaden Sieves – (311), by Emily Dickinson — It sifts from Leaden Sieves – It powders all the Wood. It fills with Alabaster Wool The Wrinkles of the Road – It makes an Even Face Of Mountain, and of Plain – Unbroken Forehead from the East Unto the East again – It reaches to the Fence – It wraps it Rail by Rail […]

My First Memory (of Librarians), by Nikki Giovanni — This is my first memory: A big room with heavy wooden tables that sat on a creaky wood floor A line of green shades—bankers’ lights—down the center Heavy oak chairs that were too low or maybe I was simply too short For me to sit in and read So my first book was always big […]

Now, by Liam Rector — Now I see it: a few years To play around while being Bossed around By the taller ones, the ones With the money And more muscle, however Tender or indifferent They might be at being Parents; then off to school And the years of struggle With authority while learning Violent gobs of things one didn’t […]

On Translation, by Mónica de la Torre —Not to search for meaning, but to reedify a gesture, an intent. As a translator, one grows attached to originals. Seldom are choices so purposeful. At midday, the translator meets with the poet at a café at the intersection where for decades whores and cross-dressers have lined up at night for passers-by to peruse. Not […]

Our Bodies Break Light, by Traci Brimhall — We crawl through the tall grass and idle light, our chests against the earth so we can hear the river underground. Our backs carry rotting wood and books that hold no stories of damnation or miracles. One day as we listen for water, we find a beekeeper— one eye pearled by a cataract, the other […]

please advise stop [I was dragging a ladder slowly over stones stop], by Rusty Morrison — I was dragging a ladder slowly over stones stop it was only from out of my thoughts that I could climb stop not from the room please my father’s dying offered an indelicate washing of my perception stop the way the centers of some syllables scrub away all other sound stop his corpse merely preparing […]

Ruin, by Seth Abramson — and backwards go the men into the garden, and what is it herding them but a haircut and a vacuous look they had when they were twenty, which earned its horns twice over if they had the same cut and look when they were thirty. Forget about great men, and soon the great forgetting will […]

S t r u c t u re — M a s o l i n o ‘ s E v e — T h e F e m a l e s n a k e, by ‘Annah Sobelman — : ~ a springy fire set inside pear prickles the vocative , a now bubble now that’s a thing your nervous system might have been one of the paths on the Tree on earth , oddly like as night where she was musing , under sap , blazed in here , hushed in under cover […]

Severance Songs, 2.1, by Joshua Corey — 2.1 Many tiers make this world pillowed on stone many collect in their fear to strive. Yours the face aglow in the cold, precarious thriver in the song-stung dark. With glance and lip you collected me. Where are you? Alien hip I catch you out, refuse cheshire blazon, unpronounced tremolo. Now to step into the […]

Te Deum, by Charles Reznikoff — Not because of victories I sing, having none, but for the common sunshine, the breeze, the largess of the spring. Not for victory but for the day’s work done as well as I was able; not for a seat upon the dais but at the common table.

The Composition of the Text, by Adriano Spatola — 1 an adjective breathing the window open the insertion’s exact dimension in the rustling of pages or see maybe how the text uses the body see how the work is cosmic and biological and logical in nocturnal voices in auroral explosions in the croaking scratching scraping setting fire here under the soft sky sticking all […]

The Difference between a Child and a Poem, by Michael Blumenthal — If you are terrified of your own death, and want to escape from it, you may want to write a poem, for the poem might carry your name into eternity, the poem may become immortal, beyond flesh and fashion, it may be read in a thousand years by someone as frightened of death as you […]

The Libraries Didn’t Burn, by Elaine Equi — despite books kindled in electronic flames. The locket of bookish love still opens and shuts. But its words have migrated to a luminous elsewhere. Neither completely oral nor written — a somewhere in between. Then will oak, willow, birch, and olive poets return to their digital tribes — trees wander back to the forest?

The Luxury of Hesitation [excerpt from The Proof from Motion], by Keith Waldrop — things forgotten I could burn in hell forever set the glass down, our emotion’s moment eyes vs sunlight how removed here, from here towards the unfamiliar and frankincense forests against the discerning light everybody sudden frightful indeed, the sound of traffic and no appetite the crowd I would like to be beautiful when written

The Practice, by Aaron Shurin — They mistook me for illumination — a revenant in walking shoes — so I gathered significance and spread text…stood beneath the seven cardinal points with arms upraised — practical telepathy — in a white paper suit like a flag of surrender, thunder at my back… I was an open man of the open streets — […]

The Uses of Distortion, by Caroline Crumpacker — (appendix to the forgotten ) See character see costume see ambassador conjugate of toreador: Country of origin see that night I fell in love (wrong man). Race and ethnicity see mauve suite for women. see my boss is the mouth of god. I went to another country as an ambassador, she begins, and there I […]

What Was Told, That, by Jalal al-Din Rumi — What was said to the rose that made it open was said to me here in my chest. What was told the cypress that made it strong and straight, what was whispered the jasmine so it is what it is, whatever made sugarcane sweet, whatever was said to the inhabitants of the town of Chigil […]



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