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The Easel

Sharon Olds

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

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.’

Après

Jamie McKendrick

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

The Wife

David Katz

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

Revelations

Ange Mlinko

‘I think of this when raising my eyes / to a filigreed cross in a sanctuary‘’

Song

Silvina Ocampo

‘Oh, nothing, nothing is mine. / I am like the reflections of a gloomy lake / or the echo of voices at the bottom of a blue / well when it has rained.’

Fabric

Richard Meier

‘At midnight on our third and final date / I stepped inside her Edwardian conversion / to find a stripped-pine, bookless space.’

Passing Place

Helen Mort

‘Stall here and let the world / go past, the way / the world well might / on heather-coloured days like this,’

All the Good Help

Togara Muzanenhamo

‘He will not understand her fascination / for rain, these summer months of water / that somehow keep the money coming in.’

Sunday Drive Home

David Masello

‘On the drive down the Taconic, / you sleep, your head sinks then snaps / up when it reaches some reflex angle.’

Ange Mlinko | First Sentence

Ange Mlinko

‘I rediscovered the efficacy of meter (or the ‘contrast between fixity and flux’) when I was stuck in a shark tunnel with my kids and was afraid I was coming down with a panic attack.’

In the village of the mothers

Vénus Khoury-Ghata

‘The wells are kept for the use of the dead who splash the / walls with their silence.’

Shunaka: Blood Count

Karthika Naïr

‘Shyama, Sister, why / the need for dazed allegiance / to men?’

We’ll always have Paris

Richard Meier

‘I’d gone there with my girlfriend of three years, / then left her three days after meeting you.’

Somewhere the Wave

Derek Mahon

‘a voice, not quite a voice, in the sea distance / listening to its own thin cetaceous whistle’

The first resurrection

Laura Kasischke

‘The moth locked up all / winter in the strongbox.’

The Common Cold

Laura Kasischke

‘But here we are again, you and I, the / two of us, tangled / up and biological.’

The Sun in a Box

Caleb Klaces

‘When I was younger I drafted a memory. / I drew a rectangle on a piece of card / and called it a computer.’

Eel Tail

Alice Oswald

‘untranslatable hissed interruptions / unspeakable wide chapped lips’

Pyjamas

Rodney Koeneke

‘Lover, does it matter / how the river spends its glitter’

sleeping far from home

Soledad Marambio

‘They told her a thrush came into the house / and fell asleep by the TV.’

From the Flood Plain

Jamie McKendrick

‘No flood as parched as this’

Never did amount to anything

Dorothea Lasky

‘Hi there, dear sister, I’m sad / But here to tell you / That you never did amount to anything’

Two Poems

Ivan Landzhev

‘My chess teacher / used to tell me: / ‘Play your own game.’’

Oak

Jamie McKendrick

‘When my father saw an advert in the Echo / for a big house at a peppercorn rent / he rang.’

Linked

Ruth Ozeki

‘old poems, like polished stones, / tumbled words to break my teeth on.’

Requiem

Jill Osier

‘I watch her help, / gathering the leaves to her like love, / hiding herself.’

Dilation

Ben Lerner

‘We need to harness the vaguely erotic disappointment that attends the realization you aren’t being followed.’

Dog Days

James Lasdun

‘Blizzard died. I’m remembering / his limitless affection.’

The New Hieroglyphics

Les Murray

‘Rice in bowl with chopsticks / denotes food. Figure 1 lying prone equals other.’

Two Poems

Hoa Nguyen

‘I wrote ‘valley’ when I meant ‘longing’ / Your laugh a river A trout kind of green.’

Post-Elegy

Wayne Miller

‘After the plane went down, / the cars sat for weeks in long-term parking. / Then, one by one, they began to disappear / from among the cars of the living.’