Tag: American poetry

Blackness as the Second Person

November 2014

The National Book Award finalist on chronicling everyday racism, the violence inherent in language, and the continuum from Rodney King to Michael Brown.

Doing Wicked Things

November 2013

The 2013 National Book Award Finalist on magical thinking, never breaking a vow, and why she wants her poems “to have long legs.”

Ick Worms

November 2012

Wet pets lounge out in the trees, all the abandoned bits / children leave, beyond what the self wants (to be bigger, / less attached).

The Destruction of Tenochtitlan; or, What I Did on My Summer Vacation

November 2012

I would make, / it occurs to me one / sun-smeared evening after too much vodka, not / a bad Aztec.

Risk Management Memo: Continuing Education

November 2012

Tonight’s theme is: you are a baby nihilist.

Portrait of a Tyrant

October 2012

I’ve seen him before, crawling / under church pews, tying // parishioners’ shoes together.

Watching the Dive Team Practice after Covering a Friend’s Class

April 2012

I wanted to know them, woman and man / the spice of chlorine and adrenaline / to be with them at the edge.

300 Cubits

April 2012

Two of everything, it’s written somewhere, meaning a breeding pair.

Many Small Children

March 2012

They disappear for months. Longer.

Fu Han at the Nuts Café, Chongqing, China, April 9, 2011

February 2012

Whatever song they’re singing / It’s not Tiananmen


February 2012

We have come to Haifa where the sea starts. / The theater Al Midani floats by a tree.

How I Wanted You to Find Me and What You Have in Common with God

February 2012

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

The Last Bestiary

January 2012

When all animals have died / even the ones in books

Sarah at the Martini Bar

January 2012 She wants her red dress to also be her white dress.

They Said You Were to Be a Conquistador

December 2011 Dear Sarah, I’m writing to admit to you I’ve never made much of a Viking.

Of Largeness

December 2011

O America we never wanted / your size but here / it is and we can’t contain ourselves


November 2011 When baby came from up top she twistered / her fingers round the wrought iron

our weakness no stranger

November 2011

There’s a special name for / all of us are having the same dream.


October 2011

What the heart wants? The heart wants / her horses back.


September 2011

In the beginning, every- / thing was middle, and lovely to behold // (if you like that sort of thing)

Hello Corpse    How Pale You Are

September 2011

Now I remember    The broken rib / Your tight hold on that wisdom tooth / The sound your kneecap made on rock


September 2011 “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?

A Stranger Comes to Town

August 2011 Where are all the girls in this story? Don’t they / set out on journeys? Don’t they bang around in the surf?

[All morning I feed the petals]

August 2011 the way a child just born / already knows to kiss head down


August 2011

God keeps unfurling me / with God’s gigantic helium.

Trace a Line

July 2011

Once I was home, Dad told me: You have the blood / of 100,000 innocent Iraqis on your hands.

The Pond

July 2011 our place to hide / is someone else’s place / to go finding

The Devil’s Face

July 2011 The girl has been learning how to shit on the devil’s face. It is a slow process.

group photo of dissection

June 2011

this could be a comfort amid machines / a cure for feeling remanded

Crimea, An Unexpected Freeze

June 2011

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 Do

May 2011

Hello, darkling, / where’ve you been all my life?

Terror of the Back Eighty Acres

May 2011

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 Worst Buddhist

April 2011

The dog wakes, rushes toward the wood. / Then it realizes which world it’s in / & lies down again.


April 2011 bones mellowing from red to yellow, / and wanting to crack / each other open, suck each other / dry.

Deadbeat on the Farm with Cow

April 2011

She taught Deadbeat // perineum, wanted a word in exchange. He offered her / duende, which she had.


April 2011

I'm younger than anyone here, and I have read // Books about bees, but I've only been stung twice.

Marriage: Flesh Of My Flesh, Bone Of My Bone

March 2011 And dice (singular, die) can come to rest // in six different attitudes, like a woman, / it means something played, something given.


March 2011

My house became a stable / when my wife gave birth to a horse.

Distant Incident on Paper with Square Holes

February 2011

Improvisation, if you’re eviscerated, is quasi-strange.


January 2011

June’s winter, ivory-rinsed blue, // a wild dog tugs a sock of skin /

down an impala’s stick-leg penciling skyward

Snake Story

December 2010

my father has always had / a fear of being swallowed / whether by a large reptile or the earth

Tom O’Bedlam

December 2010

Put your foot / in that water, and you’ll lose a toe, / or worse, a whole foot.


November 2010

I want to tell you, I have nothing / but respect for your ribcage

People Like Us Are Dangerous

November 2010

I wanted to be a pugilist with clever hands.

Deepening into Humanness

November 2010

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.


By Cynthia Cruz, guest-edited by Emily Fragos
November 2010

Got my enzymes, a nickel bag of / Electrolytes. My entire life, / I’ve been waiting for this.

It Is Tuesday

By Matthew Zapruder, guest-edited by Emily Fragos
November 2010

if you hate me / it must be / for ancient reasons

The Butcher

By Gabriel Fried, guest-edited by Emily Fragos
November 2010

He’s not old, but he is / too old to live with his sisters / for no reason.

Gebet eines Ehemannes (A Husband’s Prayer)

By Mark Wunderlich, guest-edited by Emily Fragos
November 2010

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.

Poem for a Daughter

By Lynn Melnick, guest-edited by Emily Fragos
November 2010

We aren’t native to this land. / It’s time to plant what is. It’s time to go home.

I would like my love to die

By Jennifer Franklin, guest-edited by Emily Fragos
November 2010

Thin arm around my neck. It doesn’t look / Strong enough to hold a small animal; but it is.

Convince Me Eternity

October 2010

There is not one dignified thing about this life or that one.

The Smiths, as I understand them

October 2010

There’s a box at the hospital in which to deposit / children unlikely to win the Nobel Prize.

Big Money

September 2010

We played Steal the Bacon / and explored our unmentionables /
behind the gazebo

Fairytale Smalltalk

September 2010

He says: look yourself up in the guide and tell me what you are.


August 2010

Then he remembered / That he couldn’t remember // If he had toes. What a relief.

Victoria Kent

By Scott Hightower
July 2010

A few of the prison reforms / you wrestled into implementation // in Madrid, will take root /

in the rest of the world

Oil and Ash

By Michael Bazzett
July 2010

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

In Angangueo

June 2010

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.

Beautiful Funeral

May 2010

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.