First Things At The Last Minute, by Robert Haas

The white water rush of some warbler’s song. Last night, a few strewings of ransacked moonlight On the sheets.  You don’t know what slumped forward In the nineteen-forties taxi or why they blamed you Or what the altered landscape, willowy, riparian, Had to do with the reasons why everyone Should be giving things away, quickly, … Continue reading

On poetry, a quote from Mark Strand

“A poem may be the residue of an inner urgency, one through which the self wishes to register itself, write itself into being, and finally, to charm another self, the reader, into belief. It may also be something equally elusive — the ghost within every experience that wishes it could be seen or felt, acknowledged … Continue reading

Reinventing America, by Phillip Levine

The city was huge. A boy of twelve could walk for hours while the closed houses stared down at him from early morning to dusk, and he’d get nowhere. Oh no, I was not that boy. Even at twelve I knew enough to stay in my own neighborhood, I knew anyone who left might not … Continue reading

Promise, by Leanne O’Sullivan

Love at First Sight, by Wislawa Szymborska

Love at First Sight They’re both convinced that a sudden passion joined them. Such certainty is more beautiful, but uncertainty is more beautiful still. Since they’d never met before, they’re sure that there’d been nothing between them. But what’s the word from the streets, staircases, hallways– perhaps they’ve passed by each other a million times? … Continue reading

This Room and Everything in It, by Li-Young Lee

Lie still now while I prepare for my future, certain hard days ahead, when I’ll need what I know so clearly this moment. I am making use of the one thing I learned of all the things my father tried to teach me: the art of memory. I am letting this room and everything in … Continue reading

January First, by Octavio Paz

The year’s doors open like those of language, toward the unknown. Last night you told me: tomorrow we shall have to think up signs, sketch a landscape, fabricate a plan on the double page of day and paper. Tomorrow, we shall have to invent, once more, the reality of this world. I opened my eyes … Continue reading

December, by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

When my body had forgotten its purpose, when it just hung off my brainstem like whipped mule. When my hands only wrote. When my mouth only ate. When my ass sat, my eyes read, when my reflexes were answers to questions we all already knew. Remember how it was then that you slid your hand … Continue reading

An Exercise in Love, by Diane Di Prima

for Jackson Allen My friend wears my scarf at his waist I give him moonstones He gives me shell & seaweeds He comes from a distant city & I meet him We will plant eggplants & celery together He weaves me cloth  Many have brought the gifts I use for his pleasure silk, & green … Continue reading

It is marvellous to wake up together, by Elizabeth Bishop

It is marvellous to wake up together At the same minute; marvellous to hear The rain begin suddenly all over the roof, To feel the air suddenly clear As if electricity had passed through it From a black mesh of wires in the sky. All over the roof the rain hisses, And below, the light … Continue reading