In truth there was never a snake or an apple;
and they knew already about lust, had known forever
what creature didn’t
It was that they lived long
saw the wolf and the tiger grow old and die
saw the t […]
White spotted breast, orange and black
on your head—I wouldn’t have seen if you
were not warm in my hand, but dead.
At the thud of a window strike I ran
for the deck, hoping for merely s […]
Each year for the past eight or ten, I have been given The Best American Poetry by a member of my family at Christmas time. The adults of our family are assigned, on a rotating basis, their gifts recipient, […]
“The self without sympathetic attachments is either a fiction or a lunatic.”
Duskless days of cloud-smoke and […]
This year’s contest was our first as co-editors and we are pleased to announce our selections. We want to thank all participants, without whom we could not sponsor this contest. Kudos to each and eve […]
Picasso’s Self-Portrait at Twenty-six,1907
Cheeks stabbed with dark lines. Tender
mouth any woman would want. Hair
slashed in broad black strokes. His mother
said If you become a soldier, you’ll be a gen […]
It’s a long way down—
on 5th Avenue:
You want a pair of $200 kicks—
so hey, okay kid
we get ‘em.
You carry that box the rest of the way.
We walk to […]
A Steinway. A red silk dress.
The audience still, anticipating the first note
of Schubert’s B-Flat Sonata.
Anthony Tommasini ten rows back
the most sensitive Schubert ever
in t […]
You would think that as an artist,
I would not struggle to describe
the leitmotif of my paintings,
I find myself searching
for identifiable techniques,
common hue or echoing tableau.
How to […]
Learning the Names of Flowers
Each day, when my wife reaches inside
her eyes catch on the bright morning
glories, whose vines have twirled up the post
with glad faces. Somehow they know, […]
Measurement is ubiquitous in human endeavor throughout time and across cultures, and one could argue throughout the totality of existence. Anything cyclical contains a measurement for sure: orbits of […]
On highway 10 – high risk – no space to fall
cars come so close at high speeds,
their wind moves us in the wrong direction.
On interstate 10’s entrance ramp, there’s
8 inches of clearance between the wal […]
I am like that now, a green stem that will
bend, not stay ground. Push my head into
the down, blind me dirtily, put a heel on
the back, rub the reject in, confound the chances,
step on, dance the […]
I bought black flowers today.
Black Satin petunias.
And they really are black.
Like the shadows of petunias.
My wife says I bought them
because I’m in love with death.
I say I bought them b […]
Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash
Many readers may feel that the disrupting Covid-19 pandemic has changed poetry and more broadly the arts, forever. This may be true as many activities are now on-line and […]
The Day His Dad Died
The phone rings and the news
swells and pitches like a sleeper
tossing on his thin mattress
of goodbyes. Your father
lay down, jabbed his pale finger
Duck prints score the pond,
the one out my window,
the one where an egret
roosts come spring,
the one where a blue heron
fishes in summer,
the one where nuthatches
sip drips on the […]
Seen from your upper
window, down the block
at some remove,
an Edward Hopper black and white
and grainy through the screen,
a street lamp’s cone
shines down. There,
you notice a f […]
There is a perfection
to the mockingbird’s song
dropped from a black wire,
to the white slashes
of his spread tail feathers
against this deep, clean blue.
The choral repertoire
of his hopes is […]
He watches the tail lights of her car
disappear down the rutted driveway,
throws a hammer after her
yells don’t come back
He turns towards his trailer
weeds pushing through the metal s […]
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