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If You Were a Bluebird

Juliana Spahr

‘So the dolphins talks, talks, over thirty distinguishable sounds.’

How to Get Over Someone You Love

Adam Fitzgerald

‘Would you like to come with me for some / old-fashioned inconclusive combat?’

Two Poems

Jack Underwood

‘We are nearing the conclusion of this anatomy. / We are strung between the point of ending, and / the point of having started.’

From The Abstract Humanities

Sandra Simonds

‘let us / build the openwork fabric of our garden / on the fear in the body’

Sanjay Nagar Blues

Anjum Hasan

‘motorcyclists like to howl / and dogs drop bulging bags of garbage / from their mouths when they see other dogs / they want to mount’

Citizen

Claudia Rankine

‘Certain moments send adrenaline to the heart, dry out the tongue’

Position Paper

John Ashbery

‘This is my outfit. / Government spooks did the rest. Didn’t you know?’

The Self-Illuminated

Don Paterson

‘One, perhaps his psalter, / the other, a manuscript, or a portable altar.’

from Long Talking Bad Conditions Blues

Ronald Sukenick

‘She was visibly ageing you could tell / that soon it was going to be a long / desperate race between cellulite and silicone’.

The Easel

Sharon Olds

‘When I build a fire, I feel purposeful.’

Origin Myth

Mary Ruefle

‘Life continually circled in cold inaccessible serenity around unhappy Earth’

In the Village

Derek Walcott

‘I came up out of the subway and there were / people standing on the steps as if they knew / something I didn’t.’

Two Poems

Sean Borodale

‘To be honest, this is dark stuff; mud, tang / of bitter battery-tasting honey. The woods are in it.’

High Table

Craig Raine

‘The inescapable smoke of her gown’

Three Poems

Katha Pollitt

‘Nobody wanted to hear / about the rain or its father / or leviathan slicing the deeps / at the black edge of the world / under the cold blue light of the Pleiades.’

Release the Darkness to New Lichen

Peter Gizzi

‘otherwise it is all otherwise I’m lost, did I say that’

It was discovered that gut bacteria were responsible

Kathryn Maris

‘Each bacterium was entitled to pay / a fee in the form of mitochondrial energy to purchase / a ‘dream token’ to be dropped into a Potential Well.’

Observations on the Ground

Mary Ruefle

‘Those flowers belong to the dead.’

The Afterlife of Trees and Their Lovers

Sumana Roy

‘It is difficult to imagine a history of trees / without man in it. Man as tree, Tree as tale.’

Artichoke

Angélica Freitas

‘amelia, the real woman, / ran away with the bearded lady’

Two Poems

Tomaž Šalamun

‘Heads of saints fell off and / smashed the glassy cages. My voice smashed them.’

Model Reconstruction of Ancient Rome

Sandra Simonds

‘Here I am. Sephora, symbol of stolen work.’

The Swing

Don Paterson

‘the honest fulcrum of the hour / that engineers our ghost’

Two Poems

Eric Anderson

‘Wanting to get it all in, like / Xerxes tipping his army’s arrows / with saltpeter / so to ignite the Grecian sky.’

End of the Pier Show

Michael Hofmann

‘They were fascinated / by what they seemed to have contained.’

Handkerchief

Ghassan Zaqtan

‘Nothing’s left to say between us / everything went / into the train that hid its whistle.’

Après

Jamie McKendrick

‘greener / for an alien crop of hogweed higher / than us’

Hang It Up

Anne Carson

‘hang up your blood cell phone mr white slaver’

The Woman in the Moon

Carol Ann Duffy

‘Darlings, I write to you from the moon’

Abingdon Square Park

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

‘I once had had a thought / About a thought I once had had.’

The Wife

David Katz

‘Ever notice the change that comes over / your gentle wife the minute she sets / foot in a grocery store?’

Two Poems

Paula Bohince

‘What sparrows come, / come briefly, briefly displacing / the nothingness.’

Fortunate It Is If Her Skirts Do Not Catch Fire

Amy Gerstler

‘I must remember god is not my private / secretary.’

Cyan

Paul Farley

‘I’m holding out. / I’m blue in the face.’