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The Yes

By Franz Wright Poetry

Each day, for years, it gets up at first light, lets the dove out and stands in the doorway looking at the soft blue Arkansas sky without waking. But never you mind, it will be packing its small suitcase soon, it will leave the keys dangling from the lock and set out at last. Across…

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Prayer at Evening

By Steve Kronen Poetry

Outside, the traffic stutters, some drivers blow their horns and the impulse bolts in dendrite-leaps from car to car. I’d like to think it’s the bellow of my stiff-necked Hebrews, shofars raised to lips, razing, man to man, the walls of Jericho to its stony knees. But it’s more how a monkey lopes— branch to…

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Rare Sighting

By Michael Symmons Roberts Poetry

Because the crab apple tree is not incarnate, but a shape cut from sky, you simply pull its trunk a little wider and step through. Once on the other side, you turn, take stock, lean on a bough, and look back at it all. So strange to catch your own life unawares, to see your…

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The Manifestation

By Richard Jones Poetry

The night of the Perseid shower, thick fog descended but I would not be denied. I had put the children to bed, knelt with them, and later in the quiet kitchen as tall red candles burned on the table between us, I’d listened to my wife’s sweet imprecations, her entreaties to see a physician. But…

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The Discipline of the Notebook

By Bonnie Friedman Essay

A MURDERER was living around the corner—on Smith Street. I saw them filming America’s Most Wanted in front of his building,” said the old woman in the Key Food on Atlantic Avenue yesterday, talking to the manager in his booth. “You don’t know who is a killer today and who isn’t. Have a nice day.” And…

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Transit Alexander: A Round

By Richard Rodriguez Essay

The following is a chapter in Richard Rodriguez’s new memoir, Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography, forthcoming this October from Viking.   GOD formed you of dust from the soil. I was a sort of an afterthought. A wishbone. He blew into our nostrils the breath of life and there we were. You were his Darling Boy…

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Self-Portrait as a Lighthouse

By Elizabeth Spires Poetry

All his lighthouses are self-portraits…. ————Jo Hopper on Edward Hopper   Darkness. Darkness & a wild crashing & smashing of waves on the rocks below. My light swinging round & round—shining for a split second on shards of rocky coast & a vast oily blackness ready to swallow small craft & large. I preside over…

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And Yet another Page and Yet

By Scott Cairns Poetry

1. One’s waking of itself obtains _____a rising and—one might say—a dazed, __________surprising glee at having met within sleep’s netherworld one’s own _____dim shadowed psyche, and survived. One’s walking soon thereafter well _____into the morning’s modest glare __________proves—if all goes swimmingly—yet further evidence of being _____obliquely well attended, proves discreetly provident of one’s _____invisible surround…

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Ways of the Cranes

By Linda Hogan Essay

WHEN THE RED SUN is sinking behind the mist in the evening, the sandhill cranes begin to arrive. Long-legged, wings open wide, they come first sparely, two watchers, then in scatterings and finally in great numbers, lines of them crossing the sky to land before us hidden humans. The great birds fly across the mist,…

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Rothko

By B.H. Fairchild Poetry

Night shift on Rine #4 with three thousand feet of drill pipe churning Oklahoma rock, the mud pump’s wheeze and suck, hammer of warped deck plates beneath my boots as I gaze from the rig’s north end upon treeless, dust-bowl no man’s land. The moon slithers under clouds that go all sullen and spread a…

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