Category / Current

RIFF ON A LINE BY CHAR

Avec le lente neige descendent les lépreux. —René Char, ‘Victoire Éclaire’   Somewhere inside the sacerdotal Thicket of Leviticus, there’s the ritual Concerning those ‘struck with skin blanch.’ Once a leper is cleansed the priest commands That crimson wool, hyssop,

Labyrinth (Lear)

A poorly timed abdication. A madness descending more inevitably than my footfall on the rolling paths of this post-war development   a stranger would need a map to navigate. In a book on loneliness, a political scientist proposes that our

From The Little Book of Passag…

Da Libretto di transito   Ecco il fiume che mi allarga lo sguardo, che mi attraversa la fronte. Lo aspetto ogni volta. So quando arriva dal diverso rumore che fanno le rotaie sul ponte. Accanto al sedile una piccola valigia.

Three Poems

Inside the guts of fresh fish, just hauled up in time to the drumbeats of the deep, clots the golden sand, the fire, the semi-precious stones, the salt that every breath must swim through. When traders cut the fish open,

BORN ON

The twelfth of July, like Neruda, wouldn’t you also need to see IL POSTINO to start another year off on high, given you’ll never make it up Machu Picchu on your broken hip? Come winter, however, can get to a

This Is the Day the Lord Has M…

This is the day the Lord has made, this is the hour, this is the minute, this is the second the Lord has made ticking. And after the second, this is the third, the fourth, the fifth, squared and cubed,

Nudes I & II

Nudes I Bathhouse, Hakone, Japan Once she crosses the threshold she takes off her clothes. Mirrors in the room register her body but for now they are superfluous; later, when she re-enters the familiar world, she may care how she

The Raccoon

Like an old Italian man, wobbling from too much wine, lost on his way home from bocce, he strayed into our yard – confused, overdressed in black overcoat and banded gray fedora, the gamey smell of deNobili cigars. When I

Letter to Jed from Niebla

I’ll write you about being a stranger, as I am also a stranger to traveling without you, and so a stranger to writing you letters. Below this cliff-side road (unnamed), you can see Niebla’s black sand beach and the Chilean

Paper

Damned if I’ll be the woman who collects mass produced throw pillows counts her county’s condoms shoots chemicals to drench the porch hornet on the way to recycle the obits hums Somalian rap—young—five minutes till the end one spring considers

Cry

Bring back our girls.   Bring back our dresses untorn bring wind for them bring our barrettes and the pretties we wanted bring back our chalk and the flies with no secrets bring tear-splash on kerchieves of mothers bring solace

ON EMPATHY

Wary of the verb  “empathize”—together with its noun “empathy” and adjective “empathic”—I probably use “identify with,” “feel with,” or “relate to” instead.  I know that empathy and sympathy are often confused (and share a common Greek root in pathos or

AT THE SLEEP CLINIC

  “Do I wake or sleep?”  John Keats   I sat in the parking lot of the sleep clinic for an hour before my appointment staring out at the mountains in the distance that appeared as gorgeous bodies in both

Two Poems

The Call   You and I, we have been here before. The phone rings, and you greet a machine with a voice that says, congratulations, you have been selected to receive that free thing you did not know you want

IT’S A CLASS THING

She looked better than she sounded as beauties from her country often do to the English. You can be taught to be mellifluous, a prime minister was, but you have to decide to learn.        Annette Barnes’ new