Picasso (1937)

Campbell McGrath The canvas that yawns against a wall as blank as Guernica. The hand that guides the brush that seeks a form. The name of the town toward which the bombers dove: Guernica. Cattle on green hillsides, sheep in flocks above Guernica. a wall   a city   a ruin   a trope   a painting For the… More

Mao: On The Great Leap Forward (1958)

Campbell McGrath When I announce my intention to swim in Three Great Rivers my secretaries and advisors react with outrage. The water is too dirty, they protest, there is danger from currents, and mud holes, and whirlpools. What in this world is pure, I ask them? What in this world is free of risk? So… More

Postlude

Matthew Cooperman Aftermath, if we can call it that, the meaning of the blues all persons’ loves of life discerning the subject and the subject Patois, Patria, whatever— I like to worry my desire how it is pointed unpleasantly at you, an untrained voice with a country Heroes return as food, apocalypse, cars, comics, remix,… More

Snow Globe

Matthew Cooperman It was January 6, I was six years old, which would’ve made it the Sixties, and it was snowing. Snow filling trash cans like ashtrays. Mom and Dad distantly fighting the giant snowstorm. I jellied the donut in my fist and dragged my Cheeto fingers down the walls of the igloo. Quiet murmur… More

Picasso (1973)

Campbell McGrath 1. You ask what I truly remember of it—everything and nothing: the cries of peacocks in the Moorish ruins of Málaga, Ménerbes where the owls would swoop down at dusk to carry off the rib-thin village cats, a night in Naples when Stravinsky and I were arrested for pissing in the Galleria, Alfred… More

Masturbation

Jay Nebel Sometimes I feel like a vampire. I’ve never come close to killing anyone but I have held my cock in my hands, unleashed it like a fire hose or basilisk, like a little boy’s metaphor for weaponry, and it was private and pleasurable as murder if you prefer that sort of thing. Tiberius… More

Lawns

Jay Nebel Over blankets and sex, over money, the dog and goldfish, my wife and I are at war. We’re at war and the world’s at war, three of my neighbors angry at the local church, making signs, a high school classmate at war with the Feds, his brain a brilliant purple mass of PCP.… More

Shopping at Marshall Fields

Jay Nebel Stranded among the white pine and heartbreak of University Avenue in May, my wife leaves to search for a blouse. My chair surrounded by young bodies, twenty-year-old whips who will later slip out of the mall in their brand new cars and vanish into the isthmus, into houses lit in winter snow. They… More

Thunder

Carl Phillips Maybe not ourselves, for once, but each other * Not the wilder doves; not their blurred machinery leaving the less wild doves behind Carl Phillips is the author of twelve collections of poetry, the most recent of which is Silverchest. His honors, among many others, include the Kingsley Tufts Award, the Theodore Roethke… More

Reconnaissance

Carl Phillips All the more elegant forms of cruelty, I’m told, begin with patience. I have practiced patience. As for piety being, to superstition, as what had seemed a fortress can be to not-a-fortress-in-the-end, at all: maybe so. — Why not move like light, reflected, across the snow? Carl Phillips is the author of twelve… More