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The Common Cold

Laura Kasischke

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

Pyjamas

Rodney Koeneke

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

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’

A Meeting of Minds with Henry David Thoreau

Andrew Motion

‘What am I doing here more than looking – / which I would stop / only to help things through their vanishing’

Biographical Detail

Ángel González Muñiz

‘The cockroaches in my house complain because I read at night’.

Two Poems

Hoa Nguyen

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

Linked

Ruth Ozeki

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

Citizen

Claudia Rankine

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

Salad Days

Barbara Ras

‘nothing in those early evenings free / of care could have prepared you’

Beyond Sunset

Mary Ruefle

‘Red sadness never appears sad . . . it appears in flashes of passion, anger, fear, inspiration and courage, in dark unsellable visions; it is an upside down penny concealed beneath a tea cosy.’

Origin Myth

Mary Ruefle

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

Two Poems

Tomaž Šalamun

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

Einstein on the Beach

Hugh Seidman

‘So many thugs in any century how crush them all? / All passports stamped for the underworld’

Silver Threads

Greg Alan Brownderville & Zach Savich

‘Time trapped me in this canyon, this dark jar — / jabbed holes in the sky to spare me light and air.’