The Poets Speak

  Kathy Fagan on “Fountain” I think “Fountain” is a poem about plans and patterns, how they grow, change and break, how they leave their mark, literally and figuratively. I was interested in thinking through those concepts in the lineation

Featured Selection

Featured Selection: Angela Ball

      Angela Ball directs the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her sixth book of poetry, Talking Pillow, was recently published by University of Pittsburgh Press. She currently lives in Hattiesburg with her two dogs,


Book Review: Cruel Futures

            CRUEL FUTURES Carmen Giménez Smith City Lights Press $15.95, 88 pp. March 2018   …you should write about my writing about it, then we’ll be the infinity symbol together projected against the littered sky.

Essays and Comment

Essays and Comment: Mark Scroggins

Why Swinburne? (An Open Letter) Dear B——, The other night at the bar, when I had just gotten in from the street and we had barely started the first round, you asked, “Why Swinburne?” The long version of that question

This Month's Selections


Salt and sour bait in the wind, night- crawlers pulsing in a styrofoam cup. I untangle one and bait it. The hooked worm loops around and around itself. I bring you bass strung by their mouths like a bundle of

In a Pile of Pictures

The man—young enough to be my son— held the swaddled child away and high for the camera to catch full moon face. He studied her, she looked to the voice behind the lens, they stopped: the child at twelve weeks,


My grandfather bought a set for his living room, fifty-one imitation-leather-bound volumes billed by Collier & Son as a liberal education distilled to “a five-foot shelf.” He was a university dean — OK, of agriculture — but they looked like

Four Poems

“LITTLE PIECES OF STRING TOO SMALL TO BE USED” Granny’s label on a box in her attic. Four dozen cardboard boxes, filed alphabetically. And all tied with string. How Mom laughed about Granny, but when at bedtime I’d beg her

Stages on a Journey Westward

1 All the mapmakers in history have been wrong— though to vastly differing degrees. Mostly it hasn’t mattered. 2 The old city thinning out, giving way to strip malls and tar-seamed panels of parking lots— and thinning inside me already

For Those Whose Lives Have Seen Themselves

I am returning without you from the place we went together. – Sezen Arseven, survivor, Club Reina, Istanbul   Welcome all who have traveled the long road from where your deepest dreams began in the wild ferment of sleep, or


The best thing about this month is not the dark blue in her brief nights but her adolescent acting out when looking for the right pose she raises her drowsy eyes and through her verdant lashes stares straight into the

from Border Crossings

6 On dark nights when I have no words of my own, translations calm me, let me jump deep in letter by letter soaking up the dampness of the words. I hear a whispered sigh like the sea in the


Your shadow is born new every time you step into the day or turn a light on or fall under the sway of the moon. Your shadow is born true every time you fall into the day or persuade a


The ancient Greeks knew how to pick out a sacred spot, I think when I first see Olympia, trees rippling in the wind, and the ruins and calm, though that could be because the parking lot is a long walk


Dogwood white knuckle it through January, February, March: what do your pockets want with those hard stars? Commissioned in the nineteenth century for thirsty horses, municipal fountains in Kansas City, where visitors and locals alike are now invited to kill