Category / Issue #69 April 2017

Editor’s Note

April: and, alone in another city, lost (as usual) as I wander around the back of a strip mall, three figures huddled on a small loading dock provide my subject this issue: cigarettes, and their many pleasures in my youth.

Three Poems

Three from The Ringing of the Rain has a Forgiving Grace   05-08 We all become the raindrops’ filling in the blanks Become a sour longing longing so Become a someone else’s yearning to become a someone’s stealing away ’n

Two Poems

ON THE RMS QUEEN MARY     I’m exploring the decks, the ship docked in Long Beach since ’67. Same liner Mom sailed in ’39 from England to marry Daddy. Relic of a past the well-heeled now are recreating, “cruise”


Mr. Darcy talks to the same woman says the same things   over and over every waiter looks like him Barbie Chang   slouches on couches ready for redlining there are red lions in all   of her dreams they


Immortal mortals, mortal immortals, one living the other’s death and dying the other’s life.                                                  —Heraclitus     It was a 1954 Ford pickup truck that stopped on the shoulder of the road in front of me. The driver leaned

Two Poems

SECRET AGENT               for Leonora Carrington, 1917-2011   A long armed monkey lurks by the far edge of the table, a kind of night watchman half-hidden behind lace tablecloths, his tail an upside down question mark. Naked – of


(Re-written) Streaked and fretted with effort, the thick vine Of the world, red nervelets coiled at its tips. All roads lead from it. All night
 upholsterers And wainwrights work to complete the wheeled coffin Of the Emperor’s dead favorite, the

Five Orgasms after reading Lyd…

Fast Asleep after “Awake in the Night”     You are sleeping beside me, but I can’t sleep, not in this roadside hotel smelling of new carpet and cigarettes. It’s late. Midnight, one o’clock, two . . . I hear

Two Poems

Whose Sky, Between     A name that meant sound of an owl’s hard fall, another day of blood gunned to all walls, a tiredness of how well we mourn. How well I do not pray. How well we tried.  


He said one day when we are old, we— and his saying so was pure joy for even as we savored last summer’s berries in our mouths, forced the juice from the pulp with our tongues, we knew: one day,


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

Featured Selection: Sydney Lea

  By way of introduction to this month’s Featured Selection of new poems by Sydney Lea, we offer an extensive interview with our own Associate Editor for Special Projects, the estimable Nancy Mitchell, followed by the work itself and some more detailed

Essays and Comment: Chard deNi…

  SWIMMING IN THE DROWNED RIVER OF CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN POETRY   As a poet, essayist, and interviewer for the past twenty five years, I have struggled with a compound question that too few of my colleagues have felt emboldened, for

Review: Janice N. Harrington

In this month’s installment, reviews editor Adam Tavel examines a collection of biographical poems honoring an underappreciated painter.           Primitive: The Art and Life of Horace H. Pippin by Janice N. Harrington BOA Editions $16, 104

Quiet Candy

After you kicked me out, and moved Vicki in, I spilled my guts to the Armenian drug dealer at the Glendale Galleria. He told me he’d fix my Porsche, pay off my credit cards, keep me in cashmere and coke,