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“Remember Me as One Who Woke Up”

By Charles Wright Poetry

Carrying flowers in a vase in a high wind is similar to Herding butterflies without a net. All of the beautiful colors wind-surfing down and away, Sweet release of all we held dear. And that is the way it goes, Rose petals flat-hatting down the interminable divides. So hold on tight, raven breath, Hold on…

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A Prayer for Home

By Bronwen Butter Newcott Poetry

This November, the pears are as hard as wood but taste like the honeysuckle I used to pick from the chain-link fence in the alley, nipping the end and drawing the stamen out, slowly, until that one sweet drop beaded at the bottom—one of the houses is wild with honeysuckle. When I came to You…

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Music

By John F. Deane Poetry

The Joseph lilies sway, in choir, a silent chorus of white-coifed nuns; you stand, distant from them, child of God, suffering God. On sodden fields a flock of chittering starlings shifts; the eye is never worn with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. Leaves of the eucalyptus multiply and your solicitous murmurings sound like…

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Hens and Chicks

By Julia Spicher Kasdorf Poetry

After I decided the spectacular sewer pipes planted with hens and chicks were too tacky to keep, I started to love those succulent single moms, also called common houseleek and long ago planted on thatched roofs to protect homes from lightning bolts. Stone rose, sacred to Jupiter in the south, Thor in the north, emblem…

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Marc Quinn: The Matter of Life and Death

By James Romaine Essay

IN  2009, BRITAIN’S NATIONAL Portrait Gallery acquired Self by Marc Quinn. The museum’s press release described the work as “unconventional, innovative, and challenging.” That is an understatement. Self is made of eight pints of Quinn’s own blood, approximately the amount in an adult male body. It was extracted over a period of a year, then…

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Fist

By Ed Madden Poetry

The leaves on the lawn are brown. Beneath them, the wet ground. Beneath them, the silver roots. Beneath them, the darkness. Given the chance to change, you hold on, the fist a clenched bulb. Last year’s tulips come up again, smaller, shorter, failing— the stunted stem a symptom. The rain tastes like copper, an old…

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Canticle of the Penitent Magdalene

By Jennifer Atkinson Poetry

Even so the peaches are ripe, their pelts cat’s tongue to my touch. Even so the fierce poppies tremble. Even so every night a dense blue like cold stones in my mouth. Even so death rides the air, flitting and veering like bats, brushing my outstretched arms, in passing. Even so I dreamed the dream…

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Still Life with Lily

By Judith Harris Poetry

An oyster-white lily, inner walls of plaster, the stoma lit like an orange candle, the petals’ undersides like the satin trim on lingerie, or a corrugated fan. White as a cloud cornice, egg shell, whitish spiders just visible on petal-skin of nearly the same color— the description untenable, improbable to the eye, the stillness never…

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Paradise

By Susan L. Miller Poetry

–after Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia In the garden, all the apples have returned to us, dangling gold leaf shiny from the trees, and under their bowers we walk, our drowsy feet crushing the flowers, carnations, pinks, violas, dahlias— All of our dead have returned to us, their faces wrinkled with the labor of the…

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Hymn

By Jason Myers Poetry

Some of the things I was not doing at the age of twenty-two: learning the Latin names of flowers (or even their English ones) living abroad recording music with the intensity & abandon you hear on every single cut of At Last! on which Riley Hampton’s orchestra’s a tame & obliging brook under storm-spew’d sheets…

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