From “After Talk”

From “After Talk”

You touched my chest with your fingertips
as I lay next to you trying to sleep.
“Try to rest,” you said, by which you meant,
Gird your loins, my love, and prepare your heart,
for tomorrow I may leave you.

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Poems in the Rooms of the Dying

Poems in the Rooms of the Dying

On the subject of serial killers, poet Ruth Danon writes that they “leave notes, write in code.” They “grow increasingly impatient.”

“They hate the dark,” she muses. “They want to be found.”

So do poets. And Danon’s latest collection, Word Has It (Nirala Publications, 2018) reads like a series of notes dispatched from the brink of an apocalypse. Birds fall from the sky. Red-eyed people weep. There is blood. Dark, ominous omens of all shapes and sizes rain down.

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Toad

Toad

    It was six o’clock on a steamy January evening in Sao Paulo when Roland saw the toad. He was walking home along Alameda Santos with his ancient Nikon at the ready, searching for photographs. This was his pleasure after a sweaty day teaching English to...

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Green Mountains Review, based at Northern Vermont University, is an annual, award-winning literary magazine publishing poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, literary essays, interviews, and book reviews by both well-known writers and promising newcomers.

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The Monkey and the Girl

The Monkey and the Girl

Winnie’s 350-square foot studio that she called home resembled a submarine, she liked to say to strangers, to offer them a quick image of what it was like to live in small spaces. A submarine was dark and hollow, challenged by gravity. Her apartment was on the top floor of a walk-up tenement building in downtown Manhattan, and got afternoon light. But at night she could squint and conjure the resemblance. Not that she’d ever set foot inside of a submarine.

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A Review of  J.G. McClure’s The Fire Lit & Nearing

A Review of J.G. McClure’s The Fire Lit & Nearing

The image evoked by the title, The Fire Lit & Nearing (Indolent Press, 2018) is both micro (a match flame inching towards your fingers), and macro (a forest fire jumping the fireline). It also summons the spark that lights up when we are about to fall in love. You know you can’t stop it; you know it will damage you; and there’s not a thing you can do about it. Like folks who rebuild on fire-prone land, this is not the first time you have been burnt and won’t be the last. So why? Perhaps it is so we can make art of it.

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Skin Ghazal: An Essay

Skin Ghazal: An Essay

It is believed that the arrow that caused Ötzi the Iceman to bleed out on a mountain in the Alps had been used to kill two other people, probably by Ötzi himself since there’s murderous evidence on his knife as well, and I’m sure there’s a moral here or a handy metaphor, but what really fascinates me are his 61 tattoos. CT scans have shown he must have suffered physical pain, and the black line tattoos were an early form of acupuncture and meant to treat his ailments, ashes of old fires turned to ink that could draw his pain to the surface of his skin.

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Crossing Over

Crossing Over

Not long ago, I wrote an essay reflecting on the many forms delusions can take that included some snippets from my childhood that I’d more or less suppressed for years. When I shared the essay with some other writers, I knew they would tell me that it was great. That I was great. But they didn’t. Nearly all of them wrote in the margin by the passage about my father, “this isn’t enough, go deeper.” I knew it wasn’t enough, hence the suppressing. But their pointing it out meant I had to do something about it or bury it for good.

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A Review of  J.G. McClure’s The Fire Lit & Nearing

Review of Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky

Ilya Kaminsky’s second poetry collection, Deaf Republic, is an exhilarating and anguished poetic narrative. Sixty poems tell the story of an unspecified event wherein, “SOLDIERS—arrive in Vasenka to ‘protect our freedom,’ speaking a language no one understands.” The chilling poems that begin and end the collection suggest an acceptance of the preposterous—an all too familiar, yet distressing reality in today’s Unites States of America.

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Ritual

Ritual

I turned to the breath-steamed window, parting a pane with my ungloved hand. There among the ornamental maples of the cemetery, I could just make out the wise men: bulb-lit, clustered, faces in prayerful repose. They appeared the day after Thanksgiving and stood through late January, long after we’d packed the plastic mistletoe in tissue, dragged molting trees to the curb. I never found out where the extension cords led.

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