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How to Get Over Someone You Love

Adam Fitzgerald

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

Citizen

Claudia Rankine

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

High Table

Craig Raine

‘The inescapable smoke of her gown’

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.’

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’

Two Poems

Sean Borodale

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

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.’

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.’

Hang It Up

Anne Carson

‘hang up your blood cell phone mr white slaver’

Observations on the Ground

Mary Ruefle

‘Those flowers belong to the dead.’

Two Poems

Tomaž Šalamun

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

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’

Pax Americana

Rowan Ricardo Phillips

‘It looks like life, or its oasis.’

Demeter

Fiona Benson

‘I head down the path hoping she’ll come / but when I look back she’s gone and my own voice / snags at her name like barbed wire on skin.’

Blueberries

James Lasdun

‘I’m talking to you old man. / Listen to me as you step inside this garden’

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.’

Endpapers

Adrienne Rich

‘Consider yourself / a trombone blowing unheard.’

Don’t Flinch

Adrienne Rich

‘Lichen-green lines of shingle pulsate and waver / when you lift your eyes. It’s the glare.’

The Door Was Open and the House Was Dark

Seamus Heaney

‘I called his name, although I knew / The answer this time would be silence / That kept me standing listening while it grew.’

The Common Cold

Laura Kasischke

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

The New Hieroglyphics

Les Murray

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

Self-Portrait as Amnesiac

John Burnside

‘Shoeboxes lined with eggs and empty / pomegranates drying in a bowl, / mousebones and wicker, chess pieces, muddled coats.’

Two Poems

Kimiko Hahn

‘Certainly the tide or the dog striding along the sluff of seaweed, / this afternoon – brown, light green, black green, white and red.’