When You Don’t Have Forever: The Poetry of Daniel Brown

by D. M. Black Daniel Brown, Taking the Occasion. Ivan R. Dee 2008. 80 pp. $22.50 Daniel Brown, What More? Orchises Press 2015. 64 pp. $14.95 (paperback) ✥✥✥ John Butler Yeats (father of William) once remarked that a man falls in love with a girl, not because of her beauty or virtue, but because of the way she scratches the back of her neck. He was noticing that our sympathy is touched by what is unique—by “minute particulars,” as Blake... Read More

The Final Voicemails & Down with the Landlord

The Final Voicemails by Max Ritvo 1 I was told my proximity to the toxin would promote changes to my thinking, speech, and behavior. My first thought was, of course, for the child, the little girl, but graceful, silent figures in white suits flitted to her and led her away by the shoulders, like two friends taking a turtle from a pond. My second thought was about pain, the last thing visible without our manners— Or could there be an invisible peace once... Read More

Fruits de Mer

by Paula Bohince 2011 A swirling blackness in the 20th, only the eyes visible, or Le Monde on a historic morning, ink-heavy headline heaving on the ground like a soldier who cannot stop the dark from leaving his body. At Père Lachaise, a coven of teenagers in black trench coats gathers, like unfurled umbrellas, at Jim Morrison’s grave, there to light a candle to their idol’s bones. A former America’s Sweetheart played his girlfriend in the... Read More

Best in Show

by Abigail Deutsch David Yezzi. Birds of the Air. Carnegie Mellon University Press 2013. 88 pp. $15.95 (paper) ✥✥✥ “The poem isn’t complete on the page,” David Yezzi has remarked. “It needs to be spoken out loud. The performance is just as important as the poem itself.” Yezzi’s third book of poems, Birds of the Air, offers a suite of diverse and distinguished performances: His speakers toggle between warm and wicked, appealing and... Read More

Extinction Song (Remix)

by Julie Sheehan Minoans! Minoans! I’m wild about Minoans, From Linear A to their bright, squat columns All ruined—but why? Inscriptions that no one’s Read for ages might very well exhort ... Read More

The Suffering of Animals & Inventor of the Porco-Forte

The Suffering of Animals “The suffering of the lower animals throughout time is more than I can bear” —Charles Darwin I cannot bear it, he declared, bearing it even as he spoke, thinking of freshly studied slices from the layer cake of the past, plum-studded with remains of bodies once full of nerve endings. His stomach hurt, as though he supposed that every fish with a stomach ache was gripped with fear of shortened life or pain prolonged,... Read More

Babel

by Michael Shewmaker Weightless, the winter constellations tower above our poor-lit city. Smoothing the drapes she chose for him, I cannot find the words. Night is a lesson we must learn, I wrote in verse. (She stills his cradle, folds the spread.) And worse, The moonlight is a subtle sword. There is no answer in this room—where, silent, we... Read More

Kite

by Ernest Hilbert I ran my kite till it gulled at the sun, And from the newfound flight it took Command as much as I, and trained My arm toward the sky, and strained The armature of spreaders, spar, and knock. It threw its silhouette against the sun, Then bowed blue before a berm of cloud, And set itself against a greater blue. It swooped, twisted my wrists, and grew To be too strong, as nervy as a bird Of prey, a winged but featherless Raptor I... Read More

Two Epigrams by Catullus

Translated by Christopher Childers   72. You used to say I was your only love, Lesbia, and you’d take me over Jove. I cared for more than sex—I loved you all, as a father loves his sons and sons-in-law. I know you now, and burn more bitterly, the more you seem cheap and corrupt to me. How can this be, you ask? Your callousness drives me to love you more, and like you less.   83. Lesbia bashes me when hubby’s near; that’s what the... Read More

Review: Black Aperture by Matt Rasmussen

Matt Rasmussen. Black Aperture. LSU Press 2013. 63 pp. $17.95 (paper)   Black Aperture, Matt Rasmussen’s first book, is the 2012 winner of the Walt Whitman Award and a National Book Award finalist. Any volume so heavily laureled is bound to raise suspicion, at least among poetry’s small and often cynical readership. It is my duty, however, to inform these dour few that Black Aperture deserves its honors. The book has been described as an... Read More

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