Amy Lemmon’s book of poems, The Miracles, is a meditation on life after loss, and its themes are motherhood, love, and aging. Lemmon writes, “The structure of the book was inspired by Leonard Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue and Riffs (1949) for solo clarinet and jazz ensemble.”
I sat on the basement floor of the courthouse reading through old death records. Outside the afternoon sun blasted the streets and sidewalks of the small Kentucky town. But down there it was cool and humid. Whitewashed stone walls glistened and streaked with dirty moisture. An air conditioner rattled in the only window, blocking out the sun.
I got the results from the paternity test and an offer for a new job on the same day. The paternity test was positive; I was the father. The new job was cutting meat at Chives, a specialty grocery store in Boulder. On my lunch break I texted my twin sister Maria that I wanted to share two things with her on Skype. I told my coworker, Lance, the news after work at Hank’s, our regular bar.
Another surly October morning on Rathdangan Farm, the name of our rocky little homestead in the foothills of the Sugarloaf Range, and Mother Nature was in a nasty mood. Her swirling wind bossed the sycamore leaves around the farmyard, and wisps of her clammy fog still clung to the steep mountain peak in the distance. My mother—we called her Mammy— was a whirlwind of work, as usual: milking cows, feeding calves and pigs, washing clothes, holding it all together.
MARK CONWAY has written two books of poetry, Dreaming Man, Face Down, and Any Holy City. These poems are from a new manuscript with the working title Fuse. Additional sections from in the white house appeared in The Iowa Review; one stanza is repeated in altered form.
A Complex and Dynamic Ecosystem of Poetry: On The Ecopoetry Anthology by Ann-Fischer-Wirth and Laura Gray-Street, eds.
Reading a recent review by Ange Mlinko’s for The Nation, I was made aware of the fact that the term anthology at root refers to a collection of flowers. Nowhere does this etymology seem more embodied than in the The Ecopoetry Anthology (Eds. Fisher-Wirth and...
Steve Langan is the author of Meet Me at the Happy Bar, Notes on Exile and Other Poems, and Freezing. He lives in Omaha and on Cliff Island, Maine.
and that’s how she got herself pregnant. We weren’t trying to conceive, and in fact, to ensure we’d stay childless, we took every precaution: I stayed on top, no kissing, no prayer before or after, and I made sure I lasted less than a minute; personally, I’d done everything right.
. . . Martin’s father went upstairs and swallowed a bottle of pills, landing him later that night in the local intensive care unit. He came out of his coma and confronted Martin, once he’d arrived at his father’s bedside, with two astonishing confessions. First, when Martin’s father was a young boy, his father had sexually abused him over the course of ten years, between the ages four and fourteen. When Martin tried to comfort him, his father said, “I’m not done.”
JEFFREY HARRISON is the author of four full-length books of poems—most recently Incomplete Knowledge (Four Way Books), which was runner-up for the Poets’ Prize in 2008—as well as of The Names of Things (2006), a selection published by the Waywiser Press in the U.K.
Look sharp and you’ll notice the groove in the blade, what you call the “ricasso,” which lightens the metal without weakening the structure. I promise you this workhorse will hold an edge and do you proud. It’s item JB 92, “The Gunny,” a genuine bargain at just $26.50, and don’t be dragging your feet tonight.
Michael Bazzett’s chapbook, The Imaginary City, highlights the unlikely partnership of humor and the long syntax of suspense. His poems often center on a fear, something frightening from childhood, from an unknown place where everything familiar is off.