I once heard in NPR about a guy in Brooklyn who had a rat appear in his toilet. Apparently it climbed up the pipes and when the man walked in, there it was, looking up at him. No. In this story, the guy first lifted the lid of the toilet. I don’t know if I thought about that fact when I first heard it, but the toilet had to have been closed for it to be true.
Mitch and I had hefted the sofa onto the front steps to angle it through the door when a woman in a yellow convertible that had likely been a good-looking car about fifteen years ago screeched into the driveway.
The language I want to speak will be like bumper cars for the dead. It’ll grow lianas in the jungle gym. It has a wail like you’ve never heard before. There’s a flock of black storks fuming hospital in that wail.
No person who has never been the cause of another person’s death can understand the plight, which becomes the life, of the person who has. For instance—
A messy life inhabits these pages, but it’s a life that’s interesting to explore, and while it is, of course, unique, it’s also a life to which any writer can relate–a life in which the desire to tell stories and to be heard means so very, very much.
ANGELA PATTEN is author of two poetry collections, Reliquaries and Still Listening, both published by Salmon Poetry, Ireland.
After he leaves the house where things fall apart, he is taken to the house with all the children, so many children. Children sleeping on the stairs, in the bathtub, children crowding one another like swine at the trough, grabbing with quick hands, children with sharp teeth and eyes that glowed yellow in the dark.
Jennifer Grotz’s second book of poetry . . . wears its grandeur quietly. . . . Yet out of such “traditional” fabric, Grotz weaves a unique texture of language that is patient as it is fierce, assertive in the constant reconsideration of its own utterance.
PAUL OTREMBA is the author of the poetry collections The Currency and the forthcoming Pax Americana, both from Four Way Books. His poems and reviews have recently appeared or are forthcoming in such places as Witness, the minnesota review, Southwest Review, Hotel Amerika, and The Houston Chronicle.