Three Persons

October 3, 2019


We drop the shadows where they are then
return to them
when the light has grown heavy.

You’ll take your time lugging the weight into our room.
Or stand over there in the shade.

We’ve never been too sure that we exist as the earth does.
We’re most at home in water
that soaks up the letters in our brains.

It could be we have been dry too long.

A spirit is a mess when excess spoils it.

Fanny Howe

After Love

October 3, 2019

Afterward, the compromise.
Bodies resume their boundaries.
These legs, for instance, mine.
Your arms take you back in.
Spoons of our fingers, lips
admit their ownership.
The bedding yawns, a door
blows aimlessly ajar
and overhead, a plane
singsongs coming down.
Nothing is changed, except
there was a moment when
the wolf, the mongering wolf
who stands outside the self
lay lightly down, and slept.

Maxine Kumin

the final temptress

October 3, 2019

I am the one who fears nothing and from whom no one abstains. I am the final temptress. I am beautiful as death. I am waiting for a certain man with a red knife.

Émile Verhaeren
The Lady in Black

The point is that we live right now in a economy where any half-witted sap can learn how to day trade. Compared to 5 years ago, the number of small press publishers has significantly waned. The combination of decreased grant opportunities, rising urban real estate, and the general NASDAQ marketplace, has contributed to the necessity of many of poetry’s most impassioned perpetuators to find full-time jobs. Market anxiety is very pertinent to the larger consumerist climate that we all live under. It makes sense that the EP’s [ Experimental Poets] want to win contests, have books published by larger presses, and have their pedagogical exercises applied to the general curriculum. But rather than complaining about economic marginality while simultaneously wanting to benefit from it, let’s critically engage with the larger facts of our social environment. Let’s figure out, as Carol Mirakove recently said, how to work within structures that aren’t prize/award/money dependent, and invent them if they don’t exist.

Kristin Prevallet
Why Poetry Criticism Sucks

A novel which poses questions is more interesting than one which provides answers. Another way of putting it is that a book should be a dialogue between reader and writer, rather than a monologue. It is unlikely, of course, to be an evenly-balanced conversation, if you also subscribe to Martin Amis’s idea of the perfect read (in his case Saul Bellow) as being “a transfusion from above.” Everyone reads upwards, right? For reading a book by an author only as intelligent as I am would be about as sensible as voting for a president because he’s the kind of guy you could go for a beer with. The play between reader and writer is what makes the book different for each person who reads it, and the more the author gives, the less the reader has to contribute.

John Self
On Reading