Tag: American poetry
The 2013 National Book Award Finalist on magical thinking, never breaking a vow, and why she wants her poems “to have long legs.”
Wet pets lounge out in the trees, all the abandoned bits / children leave, beyond what the self wants (to be bigger, / less attached).
I would make, / it occurs to me one / sun-smeared evening after too much vodka, not / a bad Aztec.
Tonight’s theme is: you are a baby nihilist.
I’ve seen him before, crawling / under church pews, tying // parishioners’ shoes together.
I wanted to know them, woman and man / the spice of chlorine and adrenaline / to be with them at the edge.
Two of everything, it’s written somewhere, meaning a breeding pair.
They disappear for months. Longer.
Whatever song they’re singing / It’s not Tiananmen
We have come to Haifa where the sea starts. / The theater Al Midani floats by a tree.
When I got home God was already in the living room with his knitting / needles. I asked him if he wanted some of my Cherry Seven-Up
When all animals have died / even the ones in books
She wants her red dress to also be her white dress.
Dear Sarah, I’m writing to admit to you I’ve never made much of a Viking.
O America we never wanted / your size but here / it is and we can’t contain ourselves
When baby came from up top she twistered / her fingers round the wrought iron
There’s a special name for / all of us are having the same dream.
What the heart wants? The heart wants / her horses back.
In the beginning, every- / thing was middle, and lovely to behold // (if you like that sort of thing)
Now I remember The broken rib / Your tight hold on that wisdom tooth / The sound your kneecap made on rock
“Oh, don’t he miss those kids,” but that’s the truth. / Why else would he have locked them in that room, / and waved that gun, and howled?
Where are all the girls in this story? Don’t they / set out on journeys? Don’t they bang around in the surf?
the way a child just born / already knows to kiss head down
God keeps unfurling me / with God’s gigantic helium.
Once I was home, Dad told me: You have the blood / of 100,000 innocent Iraqis on your hands.
our place to hide / is someone else’s place / to go finding
The girl has been learning how to shit on the devil’s face. It is a slow process.
this could be a comfort amid machines / a cure for feeling remanded
The straw-boned seabirds are blown / from their trawlers, their religion of fish.
Poem with Several Unforgivable Keatsian References, Poem Burning Up in the Fire I Lit to Warm My Son, or Do as I Say Not as I DoMay 2011
Hello, darkling, / where’ve you been all my life?
He grew tame // and hunted the dreams of farm kids—every tree scratch / on the window were his nails, every pregnant farm girl // was knocked up with the devil’s seed and spiderbabies.
The dog wakes, rushes toward the wood. / Then it realizes which world it’s in / & lies down again.
bones mellowing from red to yellow, / and wanting to crack / each other open, suck each other / dry.
She taught Deadbeat // perineum, wanted a word in exchange. He offered her / duende, which she had.
I’m younger than anyone here, and I have read // Books about bees, but I’ve only been stung twice.
And dice (singular, die) can come to rest // in six different attitudes, like a woman, / it means something played, something given.
My house became a stable / when my wife gave birth to a horse.
Improvisation, if you’re eviscerated, is quasi-strange.
June’s winter, ivory-rinsed blue, // a wild dog tugs a sock of skin /
down an impala’s stick-leg penciling skyward
my father has always had / a fear of being swallowed / whether by a large reptile or the earth
Put your foot / in that water, and you’ll lose a toe, / or worse, a whole foot.
I want to tell you, I have nothing / but respect for your ribcage
I wanted to be a pugilist with clever hands.
Guest Editor Emily Fragos introduces six poets who write about family incarnations—Matthew Zapruder, Cynthia Cruz, Gabriel Fried, Mark Wunderlich, Lynn Melnick, and Jennifer Franklin.
Got my enzymes, a nickel bag of / Electrolytes. My entire life, / I’ve been waiting for this.
if you hate me / it must be / for ancient reasons
He’s not old, but he is / too old to live with his sisters / for no reason.
When thistles spring up in the field / of our marriage, when the noxious vine // twines onto the maple, let us pull it up / by its roots.
We aren’t native to this land. / It’s time to plant what is. It’s time to go home.
Thin arm around my neck. It doesn’t look / Strong enough to hold a small animal; but it is.
There is not one dignified thing about this life or that one.
There’s a box at the hospital in which to deposit / children unlikely to win the Nobel Prize.
We played Steal the Bacon / and explored our unmentionables /
behind the gazebo
He says: look yourself up in the guide and tell me what you are.
Then he remembered / That he couldn’t remember // If he had toes. What a relief.
A few of the prison reforms / you wrestled into implementation // in Madrid, will take root /
in the rest of the world
I understand this economically, and I’d rather not / mention the resemblance to prostitution, but when I open my / mouth it also fills with something called sky
Little boys in drifts of dulling orange were trying / to pack balls of wings to throw at each other; / she thought perhaps she wouldn’t have children.
Tonight, you are thinking of heroin, / Of the boy who pulled you to his lips / In a blue room and whispered heroin / So close you could feel it on your face like a cloudburst.