2015 // April


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April 2015
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Epistemology of the Phone Booth, by Gregory Pardlo (4/1/2015) I found the scrap of City Paper classified, the 1-900 number and photos like candidates there, in love’s voting machine. Discomfort station. No pissoir. Hothouse maybe for a fourteenth-year sprig: me. Light box to slideshow the introvert cloaked in a prepaid identity discreet as a shirttail in the fly. Ma Bell’s shelter was brutal & […]

The Bean House, by John Koethe (4/1/2015) . . . humming in the summer haze. Diane christened it the Bean House, Since everything in it came straight from an L.L. Bean Home catalog. It looks out upon two Meadows separated by a stand of trees, and at night, When the heat begins to dissipate and the stars Become visible in the uncontaminated […]

Starlight, by William Meredith (4/2/2015) Going abruptly into a starry night It is ignorance we blink from, dark, unhoused; There is a gaze of animal delight Before the human vision. Then, aroused To nebulous danger, we may look for easy stars, Orion and the Dipper; but they are not ours, These learned fields. Dark and ignorant, Unable to see here […]

Acts of Mind, by Catherine Barnett (4/2/2015) What’s funny about this place is us regulars coming in with our different accoutrements, mine usually the little void of space I call honey, days I can barely get through I’m laughing so hard, see? In the back a woman squeezes oranges, someone presses the fresh white bread into communion wafers or party favors. In […]

Father Lynch Returns from the Dead, by Jean Valentine (4/3/2015) There’s one day a year they can return, if they want. He says he won’t again. I ask what it’s like— he quotes St. Paul: “Now hope is sweet.” Then in his own voice. Oh well it’s a great scandal, the naked are easier to kill.

Small Talk, by Eleanor Lerman (4/3/2015) It is a mild day in the suburbs Windy, a little gray. If there is sunlight, it enters through the kitchen window and spreads itself, thin as a napkin, beside the coffee cup, pie on a plate What am I describing? I am describing a dream in which nobody has died These are our mothers: […]

maggie and milly and molly and may, by e.e. cummings (4/4/2015) 10 maggie and milly and molly and may went down to the beach(to play one day) and maggie discovered a shell that sang so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and milly befriended a stranded star whose rays five languid fingers were; and molly was chased by a horrible thing which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and […]

Success Comes to Cow Creek, by James Tate (4/4/2015) I sit on the tracks, a hundred feet from earth, fifty from the water. Gerald is inching toward me as grim, slow, and determined as a season, because he has no trade and wants none. It’s been nine months since I last listened to his fate, but I know what he will say: he’s the […]

Let Birds, by Linda Gregg (4/5/2015) Eight deer on the slope in the summer morning mist. The night sky blue. Me like a mare let out to pasture. The Tao does not console me. I was given the Way in the milk of childhood. Breathing it waking and sleeping. But now there is no amazing smell of sperm on my thighs, […]

Perfect Woman, by William Wordsworth (4/5/2015) She was a phantom of delight When first she gleam’d upon my sight; A lovely apparition, sent To be a moment’s ornament; Her eyes as stars of twilight fair; Like twilight’s, too, her dusky hair; But all things else about her drawn From May-time and the cheerful dawn; A dancing shape, an image gay, To […]

Kingdom Animalia, by Aracelis Girmay (4/6/2015) When I get the call about my brother, I’m on a stopped train leaving town & the news packs into me—freight— though it’s him on the other end now, saying finefine— Forfeit my eyes, I want to turn away from the hair on the floor of his house & how it got there Monday, but […]

National Poetry Month, by Elaine Equi (4/6/2015) When a poem speaks by itself, it has a spark and can be considered part of a divine conversation. Sometimes the poem weaves like a basket around two loaves of yellow bread. “Break off a piece of this April with its raisin nipples,” it says. “And chew them slowly under your pillow. You belong in […]

Folly Stamp, by Prageeta Sharma (4/7/2015) Clatter into the window this late night. We were flabbergasted, tired of the newly-minted drunks and meth-kids with squeals for fists. We live downtown, exposed to the alley. Nothing dangerous, and we were not alarmed. But still, every sound turns us into pins on points, a sleep of figuring out: deeply felt turns: wrestling little […]

Beautiful Poetry, by Camille Guthrie (4/7/2015) “Being so caught up So mastered.” —Yeats I was too shy to say anything but Your poems are so beautiful. What kinds of things, feelings, or ideas inspire you, I mean, outside the raw experiences of your life? He turned a strange crosshatched color as if he stood in a clouded painting, and said, Thanks, […]

When Ecstasy is Inconvenient, by Lorine Niedecker (4/8/2015) Feign a great calm; all gay transport soon ends. Chant: who knows— flight’s end or flight’s beginning for the resting gull? Heart, be still. Say there is money but it rusted; say the time of moon is not right for escape. It’s the color in the lower sky too broadly suffused, or the wind in […]

memory of water, by Reina María Rodríguez (4/8/2015) september is a month like any other and unlike any other. it seems in september everything awaited will arrive: in the calm air, in a particular scent, in the stillness of the quay. when september comes, i know i’m going to lose myself. the ants climbing my legs and a certain change of light tell […]

Orfeo, by Jack Spicer (4/9/2015) Sharp as an arrow Orpheus Points his music downward. Hell is there At the bottom of the seacliff. Heal Nothing by this music. Eurydice Is a frigate bird or a rock or some seaweed. Hail nothing The infernal Is a slippering wetness out at the horizon. Hell is this: The lack of anything but the […]

Mr. Darcy, by Victoria Chang (4/9/2015) Then we are in the back seat of a car kissing not the light kind but one where our hands are on each other’s cheeks holding each other’s heads as if they will fall off why does so much love come at the beginning then disappear then once again at the moment before death why […]

Nearly a Valediction, by Marilyn Hacker (4/10/2015) You happened to me. I was happened to like an abandoned building by a bull- dozer, like the van that missed my skull happened a two-inch gash across my chin. You were as deep down as I’ve ever been. You were inside me like my pulse. A new- born flailing toward maternal heartbeat through the […]

Churchgoing, by Marilyn Nelson (4/10/2015) The Lutherans sit stolidly in rows; only their children feel the holy ghost that makes them jerk and bobble and almost destroys the pious atmosphere for those whose reverence bows their backs as if in work. The congregation sits, or stands to sing, or chants the dusty creeds automaton. Their voices drone like engines, on […]

Annabel Lee, by Edgar Allan Poe (4/11/2015) It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of Annabel Lee; And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me. I was a child and she was a child, […]

Nights On The Peninsula, by D. Nurkse (4/11/2015) We could not separate ourselves from our endless making. We were always fabricating time, God, paradise, the bell-shaped lupines, the rough-grained elm and smooth beech. We made the night sky from a rusty hinge, the sea from a sigh and a bead of sweat. We made love long before dawn. We constantly modified each other, […]

Six Words, by Lloyd Schwartz (4/12/2015) yes no maybe sometimes always never Never? Yes. Always? No. Sometimes? Maybe— maybe never sometimes. Yes— no always: always maybe. No— never yes. Sometimes, sometimes (always) yes. Maybe never . . . No, no— sometimes. Never. Always? Maybe. Yes— yes no maybe sometimes always never.

Moving Out, by Sandra M. Gilbert (4/12/2015) Darling, I’m pushing the house into the garden, into the black arms, the green embrace of the oaks. Yesterday, two giants lugged the grand piano, its synapses still crackling with your tunes, up the steep steps, the narrow path to the gate. Now it muses in the what is this of a warehouse, and the […]

Never Ever, by Brenda Shaughnessy (4/13/2015) Alarmed, today is a new dawn, and that affair recurs daily like clockwork, undone at dusk, when a new restaurant emerges in the malnourished night. We said it would be this way, once this became the way it was. So in a way we were waiting for it. I still haven’t eaten, says the cook […]

Landscape with a Blur of Conquerors, by Richard Siken (4/13/2015) To have a thought, there must be an object— the field is empty, sloshed with gold, a hayfield thick with sunshine. There must be an object so land a man there, solid on his feet, on solid ground, in a field fully flooded, enough light to see him clearly, the light on his skin and […]

For Transtromer, by Norman Dubie (4/14/2015) In the cold heavy rain, through its poor lens, a woman who might be a man writes with a can of blue paint large numbers on the sides of beached whales— even on the small one who is still living, heaving there next to its darkening mother where the very air is a turnstile… I’m […]

Tang, by Bruce Cohen (4/14/2015) If I do not witness these leaves turning orange, who will? I stir myself: I like to think Of myself as a reincarnated Poet from the Tang Dynasty, Dehydrated orange drink Astronauts gulped orbiting this planet That became a fun ‘60’s breakfast staple, The bitter tang of a car’s squealing tires as it peels out, […]

In Praise of Their Divorce, by Tony Hoagland (4/15/2015) And when I heard about the divorce of my friends, I couldn’t help but be proud of them, that man and that woman setting off in different directions, like pilgrims in a proverb —him to buy his very own toaster oven, her seeking a prescription for sleeping pills. Let us keep in mind the hidden […]

Ontario, by Mark Levine (4/15/2015) Beauty in its winter slippers approached us by degrees on the gravel path. We were hitching a ride out; had been hitching. Our suitcase freighted with a few gardening tools lifted from the shed while the old man, old enough, looked away. He who went fishing at night (so he said) carrying in his pail […]

(Soma)tic 21: Touch Yourself for Art, by CAConrad (4/16/2015) —For Penny Arcade There must be a piece of art near where you live that you enjoy, even LOVE! A piece of art that IF THERE WAS WAR you would steal it and hide it in your little apartment. I’m going to PACK my apartment TO THE ROOF when war comes! This exercise needs 7 […]

The New Higher, by John Ashbery (4/16/2015) You meant more than life to me. I lived through you not knowing, not knowing I was living. I learned that you called for me. I came to where you were living, up a stair. There was no one there. No one to appreciate me. The legality of it upset a chair. Many times to […]

Lenore, by Edgar Allan Poe (4/17/2015) Ah broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever! Let the bell toll!–a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river; And, Guy De Vere, hast thou no tear?–weep now or never more! See! on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore! Come! let the burial rite be read–the funeral song be […]

Landscape with Happily Ever After, by Lynn Melnick (4/17/2015) Near midnight I’m held hostage to the hazy upshot in the corner velvet near a laced up tree and curious how I got here. What a crowd! I think and I think I should hoard my stash in my shoe. Did you catch the census takers trying to autocorrect the shelterbelt out of my history […]

5 & 7 & 5, by Anselm Hollo (4/18/2015) follow that airplane of course I’m high this is an emergency § giant Scots terrier I thought I saw was known as Taxicab Mountain § brown photo legend “serene enjoyment” they suck pipes bones crumbled back § night train whistles stars over a nation under mad temporal czars § round lumps of cells grow up […]

Saw You There, by Ander Monson (4/18/2015) “Carrie says I should make my connections into a poem.” —Dennis Etzel Jr. Sawed you there, through you there, girl whom I name Carrie, shine of sun on bonnet-handle at that Walgreens on 28th. A Friday night. It looked like you came straight from fighting something that looked like lightning. You were all scorched up. […]

Summer Solstice, by Stacie Cassarino (4/19/2015) I wanted to see where beauty comes from without you in the world, hauling my heart across sixty acres of northeast meadow, my pockets filling with flowers. Then I remembered, it’s you I miss in the brightness and body of every living name: rattlebox, yarrow, wild vetch. You are the green wonder of June, root […]

The Vacant Lot at the End of the Street, by Debora Greger (4/19/2015) in memory of Margaret Greger, 1923-2009   I. Death Takes a Holiday Battleships melted down into clouds: first the empire died, then the shipbuilding, but cloud formations of gun-metal gray ruled over the sea that was England in June. A scarecrow treaded water instead of barley, gulls set sail across a cricket ground. In a […]

Memories of West Street and Lepke, by Robert Lowell (4/20/2015) Only teaching on Tuesdays, book-worming in pajamas fresh from the washer each morning, I hog a whole house on Boston’s “hardly passionate Marlborough Street,” where even the man scavenging filth in the back alley trash cans, has two children, a beach wagon, a helpmate, and is “a young Republican.” I have a nine months’ daughter, […]

Ballad, by Sonia Sanchez (4/20/2015) (after the spanish) forgive me if i laugh you are so sure of love you are so young and i too old to learn of love. the rain exploding in the air is love the grass excreting her green wax is love and stones remembering past steps is love, but you. you are too young […]

What’s Left (Al-Mutanabbi Street), by Katrina Roberts (4/21/2015) Tracery Not nostalgia but the bluer salt of longing, not sentiment but the smutted sky raining bitter sediment, not our winding blunder down into that wound, not the ash-riddled grotto nor the blood-orange blown-open Not the mineral rash’s voice dubbed across the final unspooling reel, not that, whatever promise the book held, not what she […]

The Abduction, by Stanley Kunitz (4/21/2015) Some things I do not profess to understand, perhaps not wanting to, including whatever it was they did with you or you with them that timeless summer day when you stumbled out of the wood, distracted, with your white blouse torn and a bloodstain on your skirt. “Do you believe?” you asked. Between us, through […]

Homage to Sharon Stone, by Lynn Emanuel (4/22/2015) It’s early morning. This is the “before,” the world hanging around in its wrapper, blowzy, frumpy, doing nothing: my neighbors, hitching themselves to the roles of the unhappily married, trundle their three mastiffs down the street. I am writing this book of poems. My name is Lynn Emanuel. I am wearing a bathrobe and curlers; […]

Night Feeding, by Muriel Rukeyser (4/22/2015) Deeper than sleep but not so deep as death I lay there dreaming and my magic head remembered and forgot. On first cry I remembered and forgot and did believe. I knew love and I knew evil: woke to the burning song and the tree burning blind, despair of our days and the calm milk-giver […]

Preludes, by T. S. Eliot (4/23/2015) I The winter evening settles down With smell of steaks in passageways. Six o’clock. The burnt-out ends of smoky days. And now a gusty shower wraps The grimy scraps Of withered leaves about your feet And newspapers from vacant lots; The showers beat On broken blinds and chimney-pots, And at the corner of the street […]

The Dead, by Mina Loy (4/23/2015) We have flowed out of ourselves Beginning on the outside That shrivable skin Where you leave off Of infinite elastic Walking the ceiling Our eyelashes polish stars Curled close in the youngest corpuscle Of a descendant We spit up our passions in our grand-dams Fixing the extension of your reactions Our shadow lengthens In your […]

Problems with Hurricanes, by Victor Hernández Cruz (4/24/2015) A campesino looked at the air And told me: With hurricanes it’s not the wind or the noise or the water. I’ll tell you he said: it’s the mangoes, avocados Green plantains and bananas flying into town like projectiles. How would your family feel if they had to tell The generations that you got killed […]

5 South 43rd Street, Floor 2, by Yolanda Wisher (4/24/2015) Sometimes we would get hungry for the neighborhood. Walk up the sidewalk towards Chestnut Street. Speak to the Rev holding the light-skinned baby, ask his son to come put a new inner tube on my bike. Cross Ludlow, past the mailbox on the corner, Risqué Video, Dino’s Pizza, and the Emerald Laundromat. The fruit trucks […]

French Movie, by David Lehman (4/25/2015) I was in a French movie and had only nine hours to live and I knew it not because I planned to take my life or swallowed a lethal but slow-working potion meant for a juror in a mob-related murder trial, nor did I expect to be assassinated like a chemical engineer mistaken for someone […]

My Grandma’s Love Letters, by Hart Crane (4/25/2015) There are no stars tonight But those of memory. Yet how much room for memory there is In the loose girdle of soft rain. There is even room enough For the letters of my mother’s mother, Elizabeth, That have been pressed so long Into a corner of the roof That they are brown and soft, […]

Untitled [1950 June 27], by Don Mee Choi (4/26/2015) 1950 June 27: my father heard the sound of the engine of a North Korean fighter plane, Yak-9. Foremostly and therefore barely consequently in the highest manner, he followed the sound, running towards the city hall. After all it was hardly war. Yak-9, made in Russia, flew over the plaza of the city hall. Then […]

Gapped Sonnet, by Suzanne Gardinier (4/26/2015) Between the blinds Past the coded locks Past the slanted gold bars of the day Smelling of all-night salt rain on the docks Of grief Of birth Of bergamot Of May In the wind that lifts the harbor litter Wet against my fingers in a dream Salvaging among the tideline’s bitter gleanings Generous Exigent Lush […]

Sapphic Fragment, by Eliza Griswold (4/27/2015) I never longed for my virginity. I heard it on the radio after the hurricane. There, in the aftermath, was the voice of a man— once the sweet, screwed-up boy whose hooded, jessed spirit I tried to possess with the ruthlessness I mistook for power. Here he was on NPR, so gentle, so familiar with […]

Mysteries of Afternoon and Evening, by Rachel Sherwood (4/27/2015) The wind is fitful now: soot piles in the corners of new buildings, gulls stumble out of place in ragged branches to skim against a rise of pond water. The children watch, breathless with the birds. They feel an emanation from this shuddering place. This winter evening the sky cracks with cardinal color and we […]

[I’m not with my], by Joshua Beckman (4/28/2015) I’m not with my blue toes or my doggies nor am I under any arched roof rotting blossoms in my drain, sunlight pouncing upon me, nor am I fixed like a tree, nor am I unfixed like a wind. I ate an apple, that’s fine and after Anthony left I got a whiskey. I stared […]

Last night, by Michael Broder (4/28/2015) I dreamt of making sense, parts of speech caught up in sheets and blankets, long strips of fabric wrapped loosely around shoulders, goblets, urns, cups with unmatched saucers. You were there, and the past seemed important, what was said, what was done, feelings felt but maybe not expressed, signs randomly connected yet vital to what […]

Everything That Happens Can Be Called Aging, by Carl Adamshick (4/29/2015) I have more love than ever. Our kids have kids soon to have kids. I need them. I need everyone to come over to the house, sleep on the floor, on the couches in the front room. I need noise, too many people in too small a space, I need dancing, the spilling of drinks, […]

|admin| New Available PDF: Letters (4/29/2015) admin’s note: Hey guys, I hope everyone’s having a good day so far. I just have a few quick announcements. — I’ve added a new PDF (as well as DOCX) file for poems involving letters, letter writing, letter reading, letter finding, etc. You can find and download the file either on the PDF Downloads page […]

I Found a 1950s “Answer and Color-in Book”, by Jennifer Barber (4/29/2015) One day the children played in the kitchen. in the cellar. in the yard. The yard looked like a meadow. a forest. an island in the sea. The children forgot their mud cakes, swing set, sticks, when a girl taught them cat’s cradles. clay people. folded paper boats. Late afternoon, whispering, they lay in a […]

How Beautiful, by Mary Jo Bang (4/30/2015) A personal lens: glass bending rays That gave one that day’s news Saying each and every day, Just remember you are standing On a planet that’s evolving. How beautiful, she thought, what distance does For water, the view from above or afar. In last night’s dream, they were back again At the beginning. She was […]

April to May, by Joyce Peseroff (4/30/2015) 1. It is cold enough for rain to coagulate and fall in heavy drops. Tonight a skin of ice will grow over the bones of the smallest bush, making it droop like the wrist of someone carrying a heavy suitcase. This moving on, from season to season, is exhausting and violent, the break from the […]

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