Category Archives: Literature

Your Monday vitamin comes from Split this Rock

Split this Rock is an organization that posts a poem every week–they advertise as “poems of provocation and witness.” This one really caught my attention: Still Life with Bullets Orlando Jones, a black actor, douses himself in a bucket of … Continue reading

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An essay or a prose poem?

This was listed as an essay in Five Points journal, but I think of it as a prose poem: What I Think About When Someone Uses “Pussy” as a Synonym for “Weak” At the deepest part of the deepest part, … Continue reading

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The exemplary sentence

I’ve been reading a slim novel by Forrest Gander called A Friend. It’s a novel in three parts that closely parallels a real life event. The part told by the lover, Sarah, is made up of mostly one-line statements about … Continue reading

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Heat by Hirshfield

Your Monday poem on Wednesday, by Jane Hirshfield, Worth the wait, I hope. Heat My mare, when she was in heat, would travel the fenceline for hours, wearing the impatience in her feet into the ground. Not a stallion for … Continue reading

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After the Women’s March

This poem, by Dunya Mikhail seems appropriate. The War Works Hard How magnificent the war is! How eager and efficient! Early in the morning it wakes up the sirens and dispatches ambulances to various places swings corpses through the air rolls … Continue reading

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A little perspective

It’s hard not to feel that things are worse now than they’ve ever been. But looking back at the fifties, I remember feeling they were pretty terrible then. This poem, from that period by Robert Lowell, gives a good description … Continue reading

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The Exemplary Sentence

I read about Bette Howland and her memoir/novel Blue in Chicago in the NY Times obituaries last month. She was a a protege (and perhaps lover) of Saul Bellow and had a troubled life.           I … Continue reading

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From Tony Hoagland’s new book

There is nothing to say about this poem–just buy the book. The Age of Iron When I see an ironing board folded in the closet of a motel room, and the iron resting like a sledgehammer on the shelf above, … Continue reading

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Of resolutions and poetry

I have a system for New Year’s resolutions that works well for me: Aim small and succeed. I’ve discussed this before.  But to update the list, I’ve since added: drive courteously (three years ago), no movie theater popcorn (two years … Continue reading

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About angels

It’s that season–all the old cliches brought out with music and glitter. On that note, there are very few poems that contain angels that are not overwrought, too fanciful or just plain schmaltz. But this, by B. H. Fairchild, avoids … Continue reading

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