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Cento for the Turn of the Year

                        NOTE: On December 11. 2016, a group of PLUME poets, beautifully MC’d by Sally-Bliumis-Dunn in the absence of Danny Lawless, gave a reading at the Jefferson Market Library in NYC. In the following weeks, I was inspired to stitch


Whenever we were out on the dance floor, I always looked at your face, while you looked downward, inward, at something I couldn’t see. Your arms were flexing, moving. The music swelled and contracted. What were you dreaming? I was

Three Poems

    Max Ritvo Photo by Ashley Woo   SEND A SEARCH PARTY My joints are full of dewy lights like the restaurant’s buzz when my table is ready. In a healthy person, red gum takes the light, and gulps

My Love

Place your hand, my love, against my heart And feel the pounding in its tiny room. A gnarled and wicked carpenter, I assume, Is nailing my coffin’s last remaining part.   He hammers it and carves all day and night.

New Year’s Day Truce, 19…

He looked old and tired and crunchy, the color of a tobacco leaf, or a withered date. He might have come from the garbage room or the water closet, or the makeshift library across the hall. Perhaps he’d been munching

The gap between

the platform & the train meant certain death Granma said. Not this time, no, of course & maybe also not the next but one of these trips to see her only daughter’s family, soon & then won’t you feel like

Two Poems

A Love Letter from Larkin     Dearest, while waiting for my cheese to melt I think of you and listen to Bechet. We seem to be less close. It’s all my fault.   The crocuses, your nice blue frock…

The Madness of Crowds

Tulip Long thought wrongly to be Turkish for turban but as it was fashionable in the Ottoman Empire to put tulips on turbans perhaps the translator   was confused having gone astray in alleys of Ordu or Constantinople, where the

Life Pig

The hams the hocks the oddly delicate little busy trotters dug in and pushing forward through the already grunted through wet stink of what’s been rooted up and chewed and gobbled down to be shit out in clumps and dribbles

Copper Beech

Because it had been, quite literally, four decades since I last climbed a tree I stood a long while watching you overhead. Your elbows disappeared in the sheets of plum-colored leaves, so dark and cool in the heat. I pressed


The camouflaging wind gets your hair half mast but hey it’s not race, the wind at best catches in the craw of all, or it could be race, an aerodynamic planet of head putting out hair that wind is not

New Math

Out of the place I knew, I feel into another world in which I merged with my beloved, into a world where one and one make two but two so closely intertwined they seem more like a single entity –

Two Poems

The Absurd Self Looking Both Ways at Once     Plato said the world is divided into a world of being and a world of becoming.   Ecclesiastes, pessimist as he was, said there was nothing new under the sun.


i Where stars sleep on the calm black waters, pale Ophelia like some dear lily, her long unwinding veil about her, floats slowly. Far off in the woods, the cry of hunters. A thousand years have passed and


I lived between the hemisphere of songbirds and the hemisphere of men. The birds kept their necessary distance and the men their self-consciousness, their standing thereness. It was impossible to say for whose sake they were tortured. When one came