If you are someone like me who usually – but not always – closes her correspondence to friends and family with the word “love,” Jennifer Militello’s “The Pact” (Tupelo Press) might make you want to think about what it means when you use – or withhold – that word.
The GMR is thrilled to announce that Stephen Cramer will be joining us as Assistant Poetry Editor. We look forward to working even more closely with Stephen.
You turn off the lights. You shut and lock the doors. If there are windows, you herd your students to a corner where they can’t be seen from the windows. You tell them it’s important they stay still. You tell them it’s important they stay silent. You use the tone of voice you reserve for only the most serious things. The tone of voice you once used with your own children when you told them never to shoot up. You only have one life, you once said, don’t throw it away.
Human beings ought to emulate the birds. / Every millisecond on TV is a birdbrained lie. / And I love TV very much so I can say it. / A soothing mixture, pain and plenty.
If you’ve got it, flaunt it, / said a t-shirt my mother gave me, / but what did I have? / Tiny batteries in my breasts, / which hummed along, expectant. / I did and didn’t want to grow up
My subject, myself, my object, I / too have spent my whole life / hungry. Any human contact / brings news of me to me.
Red lake of salt, crumbling edge of pus, far border of tender flesh / I tread around the bloody eye, daring the old impulse to jump / Saturday morning, the wound spills
The achingly red Roma tomatoes / fill the bleached porcelain sink / like the bulbous detritus of summer. / The remnants of seed and skin / collide and float broken and hollow.
Past the coffee table, its treacherous / corners; around the hushed ottoman; / pause in front of the flickering flat screen / as if I’d stepped right out of it. My family gapes.
A quiet to these fields we called our place, / could almost hear the springs refeeding ponds, / fracked and gone with the deer and fox and grouse / thanks to the drilling’s thunder in the ground.