Diane Di Prima – Song for Baby-O, Unborn

Diane di Prima (August 6, 1934 – October 25, 2020) Sweetheartwhen you break thruyou’ll finda poet herenot quite what one would choose. I won’t promiseyou’ll never go hungryor that you won’t be sadon this guttedbreakingglobe but I can show youbabyenough to loveto break your heartforever

Danusha Laméris – Fictional Characters

Danusha Laméris Do they ever want to escape?Climb out of the white pagesand enter our world?Holden Caulfield slipping in the movie theaterto catch the two o'clockAnna Karenina sitting in a diner,reading the paper as the waitressserves up a cheeseburger.Even Hector, on break from the Iliad,takes a stroll through the park,admires the tulips.Maybe they grew tiredof …

Gregory Loselle – The Whole Of Him Collected

Gregory Loselle (1963 -) The box of papers on the closet floorcontains his discharge papers from the war,a couple letters, dog tags: amuletsagainst prospective dangers, even betson futures filed away, here; telegramsmy grandmother amended in shorthandnotes (“May God protect you,”) on their backs;her death certificate, its seal (not waxlike his diplomas also here with hers)stamped …

Lisel Mueller – A Prayer For Rain

Lisel Mueller (February 8, 1924 – February 21, 2020) Let it come down: these thicknesses of airhave long enough walled love away from love;stillness has hardened until words despairof their high leaps and kisses shut themselvesback into wishing. Crippled lovers lieagainst a weather which holds out on them,waiting, awaiting some shrill sign, some cry,some screaming …

Tracy K. Smith – We Feel Now A Largeness Coming On

Tracy K. Smith (April 16, 1972 -) Being called all manner of thingsfrom the Dictionary of Shame—not English, not words, not heard,but worn, borne, carried, never spent—we feel now a largeness coming on,something passing into us. We knownot in what source it was begun, butrapt, we watch it rise through our fallen,our slain, our millions …

Joyce Carol Oates – This Is Not A Poem

Joyce Carol Oates (June 16, 1938 -)  in which the poet discoversdelicate white-parched bonesof a small creatureon a Great Lake shoreor the desiccated remainsof cruder roadkillbeside the rushing highway.Nor is it a poem in whicha cracked mirror yieldsa startled face,or sere grasses hiss-ing like consonantsin a foreign language.Family photo albumfilled with yearningstrangers long deceased,closet of …

Julie Kane – Used Book

Julie Kane (July 20, 1952 -) What luck—an open bookstore up aheadas rain lashed awnings over Royal Street,and then to find the books were secondhand,with one whole wall assigned to poetry;and then, as if that wasn’t luck enough,to find, between Jarrell and Weldon Kees,the blue-on-cream, familiar backbone ofmy chapbook, out of print since ’83—its cover …

Charles Simic- The Saint

Charles Simic (May 9, 1938 -) The woman I love is a saintWho deserves to havePeople falling on their kneesBefore her in the streetAsking for her blessing.Instead, here she is on the floor,Hitting a mouse with a shoeAs tears run down her face.

Maxine Kumin – Custodian

Maxine Kumin (June 6, 1925 – February 6, 2014) Every spring when the ice goes outblack commas come scribbling across the shallows.Soon they sprout forelegs.Slowly they absorb their tailsand by mid-June, full-voiced, announce themselves.Enter our spotted dog.Every summer, tense with the scent of them,tail arced like a pointer's but waggingin anticipation, he stalks his frogstwo …

Beverley Bie Brahic – Apple Thieves

Beverley Bie Brahic In his dishevelled garden my neighborHas fourteen varieties of apples,Fourteen trees his wife put in as seedlingsBecause, being sick, she wanted somethingDifferent to do (different from being sick).In winter she ordered catalogues, poredOver subtleties of mouthfeel and touch:Tart and sweet and crisp; waxy, smooth,And rough. Spring planted an orchard,Spring projected summersOf green …