Turning Points and Revolution

  This is a revolutionary moment in that everything is changing. But it’s not a revolution, because most of the forces we’re all reacting to (pandemic, injustice, a massive failure to find common moral ground) are not forces put into … Continued

Policarpa

Translated from Spanish by Heather Cleary Not being devoured is the most perfect of feelings. Not being devoured is the secret goal of an entire life. —Clarice Lispector, “The Smallest Woman in the World” (tr. Katrina Dodson)   She scratches … Continued

Necropolis

translated from Dutch by Donna Spruijt-Metz         in memoriam Joost Zwagerman   Woken up in a hut on the Bay of Baratti under a blood moon Barking dogs on hilltops ripped silence to pieces held the dead … Continued

Lament

translated from Dutch by Donna Spruijt-Metz         in memoriam Derk Wiersum   Having had to absorb a lot of life lately I learned through so much pain that being dead doesn’t seem so bad It is up … Continued

Girl in Tow

    At 3:02 in the afternoon of a summer Wednesday, a man in soiled red hiking boots approaches the summit of Mount Katahdin having traveled the entirety of the Appalachian Trail by foot. At the moment he reaches the … Continued

Six Haikus

          11. One sneeze can kill you Church bells ring seven futures Blackbirds flex sunlight     100. Blunt-rolling squirrels A crow rocks an evergreen The cupola smiles     23. A dog on Front Street … Continued

When the Season Is Fitting

for Diane Gilliam   …there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes … Continued

Rosalia

    When I was a child I was pixie dust.   That’s only part of the story.   The other parts are the boys from New England.   How they put their mouths to my neck, a river on the moon.   I … Continued

Son of Wine

    Thereupon R. Joshua, son of Karhah, sent word to him, “Vinegar, son of wine!*  How long will you deliver up the people of our God for slaughter!” Back came the reply: “I weed out thorns from the vineyard.” … Continued

Schubertiana

Translated from Swedish by Patty Crane     I  In the evening darkness at a place outside New York, an overlook where in a single glance you can take in the homes of eight million people. The giant city over … Continued

The Hero’s Triumphant Exodus

Translated from Hungarian by Timea Sipos Climb up onto my chariot, sweetheart. I’ll take you free of charge. The sharks planes are flying lower than ever. We have to hurry. My body is stubborn under metal. I burst forth. My … Continued

Pressure Lights

Translated from Hungarian by Timea Sipos This tunnel is underwater. It doesn’t matter whose it is. You’ve never seen anything like it: I hold the spheres of my life below sea level like a virtuoso. An inherited or learned reflex? … Continued

“Person” Comes From “Mask”

    Complete focus can resemble utter distraction, just like there’s a point where my lover begins to look like a stranger   and large things begin to look small. When the squirrel twitching in the dirt becomes, upon closer … Continued

Mediated Experience

    The painter wants to say she was the speechless grass  obscuring the doe’s tangle of ankles,  but she was not grass.                     She’d forced certain realities into being;   for instance, the fawn. She’d refused to paint it as … Continued

Mostly Healthy, Always Sick

    When practicing Crow, the elbows must be carefully bent at ninety degrees to support one’s body weight. It is a tricky yoga pose. Like most other poses, it looks easier than it really is. When I squeeze my … Continued

The Comma

    On the bottom floor of the modern Bibliothèque nationale de France, stack #368, row K, reference #p33189787272, page 368, the first comma of paragraph three is feeling a little lonely today. No one has glanced at it for … Continued

Tug (Into the Market)

    The screw of a tug stirs the night, thrums the chest like a heart in blood.   Does it fight? Yes. Its iron mass displaces fear   if fear is a kind of tide. Inside its cabin, a … Continued

Portrait of a Guy

    after T.S. Eliot   I The fog horn wakes me up in February. The night leaves snow on the docks but morning grays it, sends rivers running down the bare cooper beech. Rose Island is shrouded by fog. … Continued

What Does This Phrase Mean To You?

    But what does this phrase mean to you: “People in glass houses should not throw stones”? Does it mean you might break things, these things or others, not yet named, nor dreamed of? Or that the wasps outside … Continued

The Actuarial Fallacy

    I promised myself I wouldn’t say what I expected to say, nor even something else: but what else? And while we fill in a few hours ’til sunset, we might ask: why do we write poems? Hysterics? Wonderment? … Continued

Drowning Lessons

  My sister has drowned thirty-seven times. You might think that’s impossible, but believe me, it’s not. It’s the truth. My sister has drowned in rivers, in bathtubs, and in soup bowls. She’s drowned in swimming pools and drinking glasses. … Continued

Home Safe

for Melvin     I’m sitting on the floor watching Jackie Robinson die or watching his funeral, or he’s stealing home and he’s dying into home and I’m trying to look back. There are people in dashikis and afros. Everyone … Continued

Saga

  translated from Portuguese by Alexis Levitin     The North Sea, green and grey, surrounded the island of Vig, and spume swept its dark rocks. On this early afternoon, there was a constant coming and going of marine birds, … Continued

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