“I read on a slip of paper at dinner tonight that
You must empty yourself before God may enter
so I emptied myself and found
the bottom of a lake bed
caked with sticky mud
next to a sign that said
do not swim.”
— "After Another Execution" in There, There by George Higgins, reviewed by Heather Dobbins

“After Another Execution”

I read on a slip of paper at dinner tonight that
You must empty yourself before God may enter
so I emptied myself and found
the bottom of a lake bed
caked with sticky mud
next to a sign that said
do not swim.
Under a covering of mulch
the reflection of the stars
disappeared into the blackness.
I no longer want to reconcile myself to grief;
I’ll sit with this thing tonight.
Let it crack the bowls, break the windows out.
I am weary of running away.

From There, There by George Higgins, reviewed at The Rumpus by Heather Dobbins.

"Girl with Chain"

Girl with part in her hair.

Girl with downward glance.
Girl with tiny Adam’s apple.

Girl with shoulders gently.

Girl with generalized flower pattern.
Girl with stomacher.

Girl with late 18th century.

Girl with exposed.
Girl with blue ground.

Girl with fog.

Girl with platemark.
Girl with fourteen doubles.

Girl with Hahnemüle.

Girl with mottling.
Girl with linen, lines.

From Her Book by Éireann Lorsung, reviewed at The Rumpus by Lisa Williams.

“What does it mean to triumph as a poet? Doesn’t our poetic awareness sometimes take us to some rock bottom sense of ourselves, on the one hand, and, other times, on the other hand, to some elevated pinnacle of what we understand about ourselves — ourselves and our subjects, our metaphors and our communion with readers? Does it make a difference whether this place is a sanctuary cleansed by ritual or some darker, more remote cave in your mind and your heart?”
“The line for immortality’s long, longer than the DMV’s, and you hear
The same jokes about eternity.”
— "Queue," in Glaciology by Jeffrey Skinner, reviewed by Charlie Atkinson

Unexpected sex scene

route9litmag:

by Delia Pless

image

from Small Print by Justine Basa


It is a startling thing
to open one’s macbook in a coffee shop
to find Men in Black III
playing in the browser.

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Rehearsals ran late.
Night swayed on its green stem

and I couldn’t comprehend
we’d ever be clipped from it.

— "Danse des Petits Cygnes" in The Tulip-Flame by Chloe Honum, reviewed by Casey Thayer
“When she is feeling despairing, she goes to eddies at the mouth of the river and tries to comb the water apart with her fingers. The Straightfoward Mermaid has already said to five sailors, “Look, I don’t think this is going to work,” before sinking like a sullen stone. She’s supposed to teach Rock Impersonation to the younger mermaids, but every beach field trip devolves into them trying to find shells to match their tail scales. They really love braiding.”
— "The Straightforward Mermaid" in If the Tabloids Are True What Are You? by Matthea Harvey, reviewed by Jeannine Hall Gailey
“Simone Muench: As I was reading across a variety of international poetry and American poetry, I discovered that so many writers utilize the wolf—Vasko Popa, Ted Hughes, Tomas Transtomer, Emily Dickinson, etc.

Ellen: Did you specifically search for poems with wolf once you had that theme in mind? Or did you just let them find you?

Simone Muench: …both. I was definitely hunting but also being hunted/haunted by the wolf.”

Rumpus: Well, we’re aiming to bring some fun back to poetry. Would you say being a poet is fun?



Anderson: Not especially. Let’s put it this way, if you consider tireless self-doubt, a near obsessive attention to detail and the corresponding, nagging sense that you just aren’t getting it right, and a hesitancy to actually tell anyone what you do with your working hours fun, then, hell yeah, it’s a blast. That said, there can also be great satisfaction when you have gotten something right, and that’s what keeps me doing it, I suspect.