Alex Walton, from “Alexander,” PEN America (August 13th, 2014)
There is no
I started counting
when I was
and I can tell
that I am
Zachary Schomburg, from “Agnes the Elephant,” PEN America (January 30th, 2014)
Carole Glasser Langille, from “Out of Habit,” In Cannon Cave (Brick Books, 1997)
Louise Bourgeois Sculptures
Arch of Hysteria, 1993, Bronze, polished patina, hanging piece, 83.8 x 101.6 x 58.4 cm.
The lean, angular frame of Bourgeois’s longtime assistant, Jerry Gorovoy, provided the form for Arch of Hysteria, the exquisitely graceful (or painful, depending on how you look at it) bronze sculpture of a naked male figure bent backward and hanging by a thread. Hysteria was long thought to be a “women’s malady,” so there’s a lovely irony in the use of a male body
More than your hands can ever hold, you want
To be held, want to be carved into the fabric
Of another’s heart, rough like the skin of trees.
Ryan Collins, from “[More than your hands can ever hold, you want],” PEN America (July 11th, 2013)
This land like a mirror turns you inward
And you become a forest in a furtive lake;
The dark pines of your mind reach downward,
You dream in the green of your time,
Your memory is a row of sinking pines.
Explorer, you tell yourself, this is not what you came for
Although it is good here, and green;
You had meant to move with a kind of largeness,
You had planned a heavy grace, an anguished dream.
But the dark pines of your mind dip deeper
And you are sinking, sinking, sleeper
In an elementary world;
There is something down there and you want it told.
Gwendolyn MacEwen, “Dark Pines Under Water,” The Shadow-Maker (Macmillan, 1972)
Lift up your dark heart and sing a song about
how time drifts past you like the gentlest, almost
Jim Harrison, from “Cold Poem,” Saving Daylight (Copper Canyon Press, 2012)
John Charles Dollman (1851–1934) - ‘Famine’, oil on canvas, 122 x 213 cm. 1904.
The earth changes
The way we speak to each other has changed
As for a long while we stood in a hall full of exits
Listening for a landscape beyond us
Joanna Klink, from “Auroras,” Circadian (Penguin Books, 2007)
from the 1968 album The Hurdy Gurdy Man
To remember is to open
the white corridor
to say Yes when asked,
Are you anything?
Did she love you?
To go forward
is to surrender
the necklace of tears she gave me—
this failed body
with my name on it.
Robin Ekiss, from “The Bones of August,” The Mansion of Happiness (University of Georgia Press, 2009)