Poetry

Easier Done

Constantine Contogenis

I give her chances all the time — not to make
her the mom for me.  But I’m just passing through
her stop, on a middle track, seeing her go left
across my window while she stands on the platform,

Pax

Richard Kenney

So, Love, when that celebrated clarifier,
Chemotherapy, calls back—for us,

Afterlife

Richard Kenney

On time to the strike of a silent bell
inside the chapel of the cell

The Southwest Part of the Truth

Ioanna Carlsen

It’s true and it’s not true, it’s partly the light
that makes the bone-colored clouds
seem to web in shadows down the mountains,

My Enemy

David Danoff

Assassin, saboteur
inside me, let me be
able to endure
what you do to me.

Sunday with George

Elisabeth Murawski

They twirl and spin,
laughing, the almond trees
in blossom, her little one
humming a tune from Warsaw.

Eight Radioactive Tableaux (with Venus and Adonis)

Justin Quinn

There are no clouds. Thunder out of nowhere.
The boar herd at a gallop through the woods.
Haunch to haunch twisting through the brush and weeds
like shoals through seas, like starlings through the air.

The Reef

Rachel Trousdale

Just because it’s made doesn’t mean it’s anything
but natural. A thin line skirting the shore, no matter
how long, it appears tiny in the extent of
the ocean it inhabits, the water that is the only thing

Finalists

Geoffrey Hill

1: after Paul Éluard, ‘Couvre-feu’, 1942

 

So what big deal forbidden doors

so who came forth if no escape

Beauty

Sara Wallace

I went to the stylist
and asked her to cut off my heart
so she palmed my skull
and firmly tipped my head down

Summer Visitation

Eamon Grennan

In the June breeze our sycamore casts flickering shadows

“It’s Complicated”

Catherine Stearns

If you mean like the toxic material
coming down from the high plateau
in dense clouds that will change
the earth forever, or like the dark matter

Five Prose Poems

Charles Baudelaire

Translated by David Lehman

Le miroir

Un homme épouvantable entre et se regarde dans la glace.

Prodigal

Deborah Diemont

The front door opens to a faux wood floor.
Untie your shoes and leave them in the hall.

Ring

Debora Lidov

One drink in I asked my date about the ring:
copper, flat, snug band on his right-hand
fourth finger. He began to tell its secret.

Loose Talk

Katie Donovan

Nag, prattle, palaver -
he’s had enough
of loudmouthed chatter -
better to invest

Arcade

Esther Schor

The beauty of it’s also
the hell of it: our sharpest teeth

Shadow

Morri Creech

He got up. It was there. And it was growing
from much the same place it had been before;
it had followed him to sleep without his knowing
and, once he rose, had crept up to the door.

Eleanoir and Huff’s New Blues and Gospel

Nathaniel Mackey

—“mu” two hundred thirty-eighth part—

    The air lay lit with a kind of dread. Expec-
tancy’s arraignment it felt like, the oud’s
   outer inurement all there was, inside out.

Clay

Luis H. Francia

Throw the word on the poet’s wheel,
Write the mud on the potter’s desk.

From bone and ash I need to spin
shapes that sing to us of blood,

An Old Theme

Derek Mahon

I shall die in due course on a day of rain.
Not in the last bed by the exit, please,
with a loud sitcom on the gogglebox
but in an armchair during a sunshower

Chorus from The Birds

Derek Mahon

                        Aristophanes

O troubled people, frantic creatures of an hour,
swift generations, curious growths that flower
and fade in a brief stretch of time as if

Baggy-arsed country

Jacques Moulin

translated by David Ball

A defense of high walls
soft sea lawn
the caress of the grass

Elegy in October

Frannie Lindsay

Suggest we meet inside the library.
The afternoon, aflutter with children
downstairs, sitting Indian style to hear

To My Daughter

Peter Cooley

When they escort you to my body they will burn,
when I am watching from that other country,
when you are weary of embellishments
death insists upon, the wilting pastels,

The Way I Like Best

James Longenbach

Initially the fragments were discovered by Helena,
Mother of the emperor Constantine,
On a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the year 327.

The Potato Plants

Jodie Hollander

She kept the potatoes beneath the kitchen sink
in a dank place I never dared to enter.
But at fall planting time Mother always sent me
down into that moldy smelling cupboard,

Something Forced

Benjamin S. Grossberg

the amaryllis bulb.  That’s the verb we use:
forced it, its petals just one shade
more pleasing than blood.  Do I mention

“As Are Right Fit”

Benjamin S. Grossberg

Because in her delirium, she raked my beard
with her nails and called me aba, I know
my mother travelled backwards into her death.

The Wedgewood, the Watches

Benjamin S. Grossberg

Wedgewood didn’t matter, my mother says,
speaking to me in a dream.  The little vases
and ashtrays, the boxes littering the house,