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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.’

Cooley High: 1991

Aracelis Girmay

‘Please stay with me as I / replay the last touch.’

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.’

Two Poems

Minal Hajratwala

‘The unicorns are a technology / we cannot yet approximate.’

Bianca Burning

C.K. Williams

‘The sexual terror lions are roaring into my ears as I make my way between their cages’

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.’

Why A Colored Girl Will Slice You If You Talk Wrong About Motown

Patricia Smith

‘Their newborn children grew / like streetlights. We grew like insurance payments. / We grew like resentment.’

Waterloo East

Lorraine Mariner

‘On one of those mornings / when I felt like resigning / from my life.’

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’

The Making of the English Landscape

Simon Armitage

It’s too late now to start collecting football shirts,/bringing them back from trips abroad as souvenirs:

Face to Face

Tomas Tranströmer

ʻThe birds refused to fly and the soul / grated against the landscape.ʼ

Two Poems

Joe Wenderoth

‘At first you treat him as a nobility – / a miraculous figure(head) / with no real office. / Then he dies.’

Three Prose Poems

Sharmistha Mohanty

‘And the evening wind from over the sea makes that threadbare self billow like a tattered sail, all that resisted it now become the air on which it rises.’

The Emotional Life of Plants

Rae Armantrout

An exciton consists / of the escaped negative / (electron) / and the positive hole / it left behind.

Poem
(To A)

Harold Pinter

‘I shall miss you so much when I am dead’

Two Poems

Jack Gilbert

‘Loneliness is the mother’s milk of America. / The heart is a foreign country whose language none / of us is good at. ’

The Day Etta Died

John Burnside

‘I was marking a stack of essays / on Frank O’Hara / and each had a Wiki- / paragraph to say / who Genet was.’

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.’

Seen

Fanny Howe

‘Every cupboard is old, / every glass and cup / wiped clean.’

How Long is the Coast of Britain?

Jynne Martin

‘It is the hour for farewells. It is the hour.’

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.’

The Joy of Difficulty

Lavinia Greenlaw

‘did you breathe differently / as if equipped with an aqualung’

Dark Night

Ben Okri

‘On a night when my soul was damp / I found in the street a dark lamp. / The moon was cold and green, / The sky had a sinister sheen’

Passing Place

Helen Mort

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

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.’

woman is a construct

Angélica Freitas

‘woman is basically meant / to be a residential complex / all the same / all plastered over / just in different colors’