Virgil Suárez – Bad Sons Anonymous

Virgil Suárez At this year’s conventionwe gather to pay homageto our fathers, responsiblemen who worked hard: laborers, stone cutters, welders,carpenters — blue collar all,men who raged, stormedtheir anger through the house, our mothers couldn’t manage,swept with brooms the debrisof broken things, in silencethey took it out on us, belts in hand, we stood there, cried,long …

Margaret Atwood – Flatline

Margaret Atwood (November 18, 1939 -) Things wear out. Also fingers.Gnarling sets in.Your hands crouch in their mittens.Forget chopsticks, and buttons.Feet have their own agendas.They scorn your taste in shoesand ignore your trails, your maps.Ears are superfluous:What are they for,those alien pink flaps?Skull fungus.The body, once your accomplice,is now your trap.The sunrise makes you wince:too …

Dorianne Laux – Lord Of The Flies

Dorianne Laux (January 10, 1952 -) “Coronavirus Conference Gets Canceled Because of Coronavirus.”—Bloomberg News, March 10, 2020 I can already see the streetsfilling with corpses piledtenderly along the curbs.First the homeless, thenthe poor, then those whowere lost, depressed, lonely,alone. The rich will be last,top of the pile as they werein life. Dressed in their finery.Oh …

Adrienne Rich – What Kind Of Times Are These

Adrienne Rich (May 16, 1929–March 27, 2012) There’s a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphilland the old revolutionary road breaks off into shadowsnear a meeting-house abandoned by the persecutedwho disappeared into those shadows.I’ve walked there picking mushrooms at the edge of dread, but don’t be fooledthis isn’t a Russian poem, …

Joyce Sutphen – The Art of Revision

Joyce Sutphen (August 10, 1949 -) In the morning I take outmost of what I put in last night.I cross out everything that seemsexcessive, every frill and fandango,anything fluffy—a word that shouldnever again appear in a poem,along with blossom and awesome.Once I have deleted everythingexcept the title—which now seemsto have been written by a poetwho …

Derek Walcott – The Light Of The World

Derek Alton Walcott (January 23, 1930 – March 17, 2017) “Zion-ah,                I’ve got to have Zion-ah,                I’ve got to have Zion-ahFor the rain is falling” —Bob Marley Marley was rocking on the transport’s stereoand the beauty was humming the choruses quietly.I could see where the lights on the planes of her cheekstreaked and defined them, if this …

Emily Dickinson – I Heard A Fly Buzz…

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) I heard a Fly buzz—when I died—The Stillness in the RoomWas like the Stillness in the Air—Between the Heaves of Storm—The Eyes around—had wrung them dry—And Breaths were gathering firmFor that last Onset—when the KingBe witnessed—in the Room—I willed my Keepsakes—signed awayWhat portions of me …

Naomi Shihab Nye – World Of The Future, We Thirsted

Naomi Shihab Nye (March 12, 1952 -) Stripped of a sense of well-being,we downed our water from small disposable bottles.Casting the plastic to streetside,we poured high-potency energy tonics or Cokedown our throats, because this time in historyhad sapped us so thoroughly andwe were desperate.Straws, plastic caps, crushed cans,in a three-block walk you could fill a …

Clint Margrave – When Death Travels

Clint Margrave No one makes himtake his shoes off at securityor asks to see his boarding pass.There are no bags to checkbecause baggage is strictly for the living.No windows on the planebecause there’s nothing to see.No seatbelts becausethere’s nothing to impact.The flight attendantsattend to nothing.And though there are delays,there are never any cancellations.No one greets …