Three Poems

Anna Journey

Last Nostalgia Starting with a Piece of Spider Plant on our Car’s Backseat

You moved clippings of your childhood spider plant
with us in a Ziploc half-filled with tap water

Prayer

Natalie Mesnard

I am telling you, first of all, that your husband will be beautiful, but he will be a man who will love you then stand out on the stoop, the red eye of a cigarette sighing between his lips, his shoulders slumped as he sucks smoke in a state of unexplainable melancholy.…

The Ivy Power: Don Lee’s The Collective

Ryan McDermott

In The Collective, the most recent installment of the American campus novel, Don Lee presents a group of Asian American artists whose coming-of-age is marked by an irresolvable conflict: the tug-of-war between self-identity and community.…

Wasteland, Wasteland, Wasteland

Claire Vaye Watkins

The binder does not say “mole men.” The mole men are a rumor, a legend. So the old, empinkened blind man with the puckered skin and long, translucent, prehensile whiskers we found in the desert near the Repository is not…

All Or None

Randall Jarrell

From The Kenyon Review, Spring 1951, Vol. XIII, No. 2 Each year, just as the blossoms Fall, and the buds curl from the boughs, I hear from the sky a wondering voice: The brass bird that drowses All year on…

Swiss National Day in Lavigny

Michael Hulse

Cities burn, favelas rot, the starving walk for water,
              elections are rigged and revolutions hijacked,
                            tanks are deployed against the people—but
                                          here the children walk with lanterns…

Dear Cousin

Tara Goedjen

From the jungle they watch her, but she doesn’t know this. She sits on the third-story verandah with her monkey, Don Sergio de Ferdinand, who fiddles with her birthstone. Sergio spits apple and leaps into the branches of a nearby tree. …

Hunger to Hunger:
Hungry / Foame
An Introduction

David Baker

Poems don’t begin. Poems continue.

A poet may sit with pen and paper, or a blue-faced computer screen, and write that first word, but spinning in the poet’s head is a symphony of sounds and impulses, and preceding that first textual mark is a whole history of previous uses of that “first” word.…

Hunger to Hunger:
Hungry / Foame

Click on the thumbnails below to view full-size versions of each poem and follow the progression of project between both languages. Note “Hungry” originally appeared in The Atlantic Monthly and was subsequently collected in Never-Ending Birds (W. W. Norton, 2009).…

Man in Circles

Nancy Zafris

Lately I am overcome with fatigue. I am too tired for sexual intercourse. Nor can I read a magazine article about it. I cannot call across a tavern counter with any kind of greeting, even to the bartender. …

The Door

Marsha McGregor

The ad in the paper said a new chain restaurant was opening. Apply in person between the hours of eleven and one. I got permission to leave school early to interview. I think I borrowed my boyfriend’s car. I was sixteen.…

In that Ohio

Ursula K. Le Guin

From The Kenyon Review, New Series, Spring, 1987, Vol. IX, No. 2 They ring bells in the marshes, little bells in the evening in choruses. It is trilling season. A bird before sunrise sings B, B-flat, B, over and over…

Even in Paradise, Someone Will Be Bluffing . . .

Ersi Sotiropoulos

He always hoped for a warm welcome when he came home from the office, and would ring the downstairs doorbell to announce he was on his way up. He pressed the button for the lift, shifting the weight of the bags on his shoulder to get a better balance, and in the little hall mirror his face was invariably smiling and good-humored.…

My Father’s Hand

H.V. Chao

My father was not a man to show anger, but to hold it in. He did the same with pain. When his mother died, he must have mentioned it at dinner. Maybe it was a month later that I snuck into his room, I can’t remember—long enough that the death of a woman I’d never met had slipped my mind.…

Castalian Spring

Seamus Heaney

Thunderface. Not Zeus’s ire, but hers Refusing entry, and mine mounting from it. This one thing I had vowed: to drink the waters Of the Castalian Spring, to arrogate That much to myself and be the poet Under the god…

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