Editor’s Note

Readers: Welcome to Plume Issue # 55 –
February: A cold snap here in Florida as I write – 42 degrees last night. I know.

Featured Selection


By way of introduction to this month’s Featured Selection of poems by Emmanuel Moses, translated by Marilyn Hacker, we present an introductory interview with our own Associate Editor for Special Projects, the estimable Nancy Mitchell, followed by the work itself and some more detailed biographical material.

NM:  Good Morning Emmanuel.


REVIEWS | Greta Stoddart’s Alive Alive O

In this month’s installment, reviews editor Adam Tavel examines an English poet’s third book.
Alive Alive O by Greta Stoddart
Bloodaxe Books Ltd.
$24, 64 pages
published June 2015

Greta Stoddart’s third poetry collection, Alive Alive O, takes its epigraph from the final verse of the famous Irish folk song “Molly Malone.

This Month's Selections

Two Poems | Kelli Russell Agodon

Tequila Sunrise Waltz with Heart Murmur When you say no worries what you mean is,       you’re welcome. It’s a high tide with a riptide       and the lifeguard at your beach has yet to take swimming lessons. Someone       will throw you a life vest a size too small.       No worries. You tell me the man with […]

Poem to Circe IV | José Manuel Cardona tr. by Hélène Cardona

Ancient bronzes, we reached the sea. Missing is the man who says: the sea is mine. Under this sea Phoenician amphorae sleep their languid female curves. Do you know amphorae? Have you seen their figure, their elegance? Beneath the waters their whiteness laughs like spotless marble, indolence wakens love, they expand. For centuries they’ve slept […]

Song a Year After My Mother’s Death | Carrie Etter

I allowed a small song to nestle between my breasts. It was furtive, a ground squirrel occasionally checking the wind. I thought it could not grow on wine and despair. It didn’t. On the one sunny day in a rainy month, it basked. It took on colour: peacock blue shimmering like sunlit sea. I feared […]

City Harbor | Carol Frost

How often we come to a headland and a city opens, as when mid-region stars in the Milky Way cast shadows, and the Great Rift appears—                                     migration, a swarm, an exceeding leap. Where dogmen rode the crane hook into the air, and summer’s linseed oil blew over the water, we follow—dreams our nerve tonic where […]

Ode to Roadside Shrines | Barbara Hamby

I first see you in Crete, little boxes on four skinny legs,             nestled in an olive orchard on the dirt road, with rain soaked and sun faded pictures of a saint             or Mary or even Jesus with his crown of thorns, or his sacred heart right there on his chest for everyone             to see, and […]

Hunger Abstract | Devin Johnston

A black cat in search of breakfast flowed along the path beneath our window and by its mute current woke the mews from dreams of tearing meat to irritable molt a peregrine aloof and ill-at-ease singing a soft cack-cack through wire mesh restless to row through a sea of thermals with the tilting world reduced […]

The Day | Thomas Lux

Day I didn’t blink and the day was gone. Day I woke up on an anatomist’s table, Day my mother, her head on the dayroom slab… Day sails appeared, and then disappeared. No rain came one day for 200. Man mis-interpreted God one day, and again the next. The oleaginous world, one day, becomes non-oleaginous. […]

Houses | Alan Shapiro

Under the cold light of the chintzy white crown chandelier, I’d lean one upright card against another to form an A without the cross bar. I called it a room but it looked more like a see- through teepee or a tunnel shaped like an upside down V, or half of a capital M, which […]

Elephant Memory | Gail Mazur

A cold sunny morning in Cambridge. Pragmatical realists, my friend and I out strolling along Mass Ave when  suddenly we saw a colossal elephant ambling in our direction, padding slowly north, on its own, past the modernist law school dorms, past the Spa and the package store, past the blinking traffic light and the credit […]

The Movie My Murderer Makes | Chris Shipman

My murderer sits in row F, seat 3, just behind my wife and me, in row E, seats 3 and 4. Seinfeld finishes his last bit, something about the unfortunate slits between the walls of bathroom stalls, and how they don’t reach the floor, making your face and your feet and your fear a little […]

Winkles & Dillisk | Ron Smith

Does he suspect the boys             who sell him the tin cans, the cable, the planks and nails, that they steal the stuff back                         at night then sell it again?             He can wheelbarrow a load of bricks all the way to the village— and back, if he makes no sale.                         The old tar’s been twisting ropes […]

Two Poems | Geoffrey Young

GET ON YOUR PONY AND RIDE You are under the impression that my poems Inspect the baroque business       Of being in the world (dawn light, texture Of clothes, bare feet on stairs, hand Skimming a railing), that they assay What it feels like to be awake, to have sex On the brain, to be sobered […]