The Poets Speak

  Heather Altfeld on “The Island to Remind You of Your Childhood” About ten years ago, I decided to teach my young daughters to fish.  We cranked up our 1991 Volvo station wagon and went in search of a primitive

Featured Selection

Featured Selection: Gerry LaFemina

  Photo credit Laura Byrnes My hometown of Salisbury, Maryland hosted Gerry LaFemina as poet-in-residence for Poetry Week, April 5-9, 2018. At the end of a whirlwind week of TV and radio interviews, readings and workshops throughout the community, Gerry


Essays and Comment

Essays and Comment: Alexander Dickow

Poetry, Sentimentality, and the Laugh Track Compulsion   The Anglo-Saxon world – many would say mercifully – never brought forth anything quite like Alphonse de Lamartine. Lamartine’s Méditations poétiques of 1820, a bestseller well beyond anything today’s poets could ever

This Month's Selections


To see my father not seeing me with one eye, and with the other fogged by glaucoma—iced connections in his head, scrambled heaps of images, the seaside, the earthquake—I remember sitting at the same table. Smoking the same cigarette, drinking

Remedios Varo’s Locomotion Capilar (1959)

Riding the bicycles of their beards, wearing wreaths of cloud, they come, they go, one roping the startled woman with his rufous anaconda whiskers. Only she looks at you, her fingers splayed in surprise, lifted off the cobbles and balanced

A Poem and Two Fables

Elegy   The breeze this morning pulls on the surface of the bay, spinning the short-clipped waves like the notes on the brass cylinder of a music box—sky as open lid, miniature ballerina turning more and more slowly in place

The Only One

after Yannis Ritsos “The Third One”     In the stories of old there were always three. Three who fell, three who rose, three who loved the world. But in truth there was only one. How to explain? There was

Unfinished Business

Cleaning up, in the kitchen, she goes to wipe away a small black seed from the counter. But the small black seed moves, and then walks hastily off in the other direction. No, I am not a seed, the little

Two Poems

Venice is Sinking I “Venice is sinking, Signora. Look – how the water seeps under the doors of the Doges Palace,” our gondolier said. “Tables and chairs float in the piazza when the acqua alta comes . . . our

Two Poems

From the Republic of Sleep and Mercy   All night I dreamt death was a party to which I had been invited but had to attend by proxy, sending a periscope in my stead down through the floor beams beneath

Getting Old, Thinking of Keats

Even though I’m old now And he never was, I’m thinking of Keats And how words he loved Plumped and ripened And fell away From his tree of self So others could savor The phrases as he once did. I


Angel of the gap thrills to floodwaters Like a man slapped by a man slapped, Newsworthy Africa.   How much of the world fits or is navigable Depends entirely upon thrilling angels. Pins and needles, the neural system of Lacustrine,


Any skink you ask would say my blue tail— What part of yourself would you throw off the sled to the wolves like the groom did the bride in the story? The knife- thrower’s board is in the back room

Concussion Test

Do you feel heartsick for aboriginal (original) people wearing baseball caps? Do you feel desensitized toward unoriginal people wearing baseball caps? Have you ever witnessed a jet crash before it happened? How would you define? Does one atom of carbon