Category / Issue #47 May 2015

May, 2015- Featuring Cathleen Calbert, Nicole Cooley, Elaine Equi, Jeffrey Harrison, Henry Israeli, Affonso Romano de Sant’Anna, Donald Revell, Alberto Rios, Deema K. Shehabi, Alan Shapiro, Will Stone, Tim Suermondt, and Diane Wakoski. Cover art from Amy Sacka’s project Lost & Found in Detroit.

EDITOR’S NOTE

Readers:   May: As promised I am happy to report our own wave good-bye to Phillip Levine in Plume: the “secret poem” Phil’s “Belief,” with a marvelous introduction by Christopher Buckley in this month’s Newsletter.  For this reason,  I strongly urge

OÚ EST LE CHAT By Cathleen Ca…

Où est le chat I can ask this, which is good in case I need to find a cat in France. Otherwise,   peut-être other questions: Quelle heure est-il? Qu’est-ce que c’est? Except I won’t understand the answers.   If

SELF PORTRAIT IN THE BACKYARD …

Self Portrait in the Backyard as Mother Tulip-bellied, fists full of weeds, the baby shuffles over the wet grass, the baby stumbles like a drunk toward me, the baby wants to roll on top of me, climb back inside my

THE SECRET OF TIME MEETS A STR…

THE SECRET OF TIME MEETS A STRANGER You look familiar. Were you once my mother? My child that slept through the Ice Age? That song you were whistling— where did you learn it? Time passes, but the past will not

THINNING THE SPRUCES Jeffrey H…

THINNING THE SPRUCES I’ve become ruthless with the spruces that crowd the hillside between the cabins and the lake, filling every available space and leaving no room for the slower growing maples and birches. I yank the little ones up

ON EVERY HAND A GREAT PLAIN By…

ON EVERY HAND A GREAT PLAIN   Two bears tearing at a tent shred it to strips with their razor claws, the whites around their big brown eyes glistening yellow in the early light. After they effortlessly crack apart the

TWO POEMS By Affonso Romano de…

GETTING READY THE HOUSE My friend goes to visit his grave like someone going to his country house to plant roses. Some time ago he acquired this little homestead. Planted trees around it, and occasionally he’ll go there as if

FREE VERSE By Donald Revell

FREE VERSE   Small woods upon an incline Thewed of the levin, lean Down there exactly trodden Where leaves become a hillside torrent To a broken man a small dog In the crook of his arm. Imagine He carries a

WORDS IN THE WOODS By Alberto …

Words in the Woods   All the words that have been spoken here Over time, over centuries: they stay. We hear occasional echoes, think A bird has chirped or a cricket, But it was a moment of laughter Happy enough

GHAZAL 4 By Deema K. Shehabi

GHAZAL 4 How sullen we’ve become in the belly of the empire; nobody wrestles time for afternoon tea and honey in the empire. What trumpets behind the fence? Orange-bellied birds in magnolia blossoms, skittery squirrels, it’s spring in the sunny

ARCHIMEDES By Alan Shapiro

Archimedes   Bent over the plate, she studies the tremor in the hand that holds the fork that lifts the food that, when it’s lifted, trembling, spills back to the plate.   Head down, puzzling it out, she doesn’t see

NIGHT SPIDER By Will Stone

NIGHT SPIDER All day he waited, then when the sun’s speech ended he dangled out, swung like a drunk still attached by one claw to the tavern door. All night he had endured the rain. To him distant thunder is

LOOKING FOR ZAGAJEWSKI UNDER T…

LOOKING FOR ZAGAJEWSKI UNDER THE COUCH If his book of poems isn’t there it may be lost forever and the household will be diminished— a bit like the neighborhood itself. The sun will shine less, the wind will blow harder

THE LEAVES HAVE NO PITY By Dia…

The Leaves Have No Pity            gathering under the porch like abandoned promises, fallen through the wooden slats, like the key that is now lost among them. The leaves have no response to the vulnerable hand, the fingers through which the

FEATURED SELECTION

This month’s Featured Selection requires only the slightest introduction. A few weeks ago, a thought occurred to me, regarding how, one last time, to wave good-bye to the great Philip Levine, the so-called “Poet of Work.” (For more on that