Nobody’s Bored

Because, shit, it’s too dry to snow but it’s cold and the crocus is cold under the wind, wind the cat contemplates through the screen, geese out on the river now terrorized by swans . . . But nobody’s bored with this; it’s elegant just being alive in an age of advertising, not seeing any… More

Hieratic Madonna

I had one of those sinking spells—she was no more than an infant, blue eyes . . . I thought I could smell some reel-to-reel tape So I bought a pill halver . . . Most of the furniture sat fading in the sunshine— The child moved her tiny hand . . . My blood… More

Rite II

The Committal Another small death. My stepfather slips on his boots and jacket, retrieves a shovel from the shed. Christmas morning and the sun honeys over the field, glazing each frosted blade white-gold. Does this look alright, he says, gesturing at the grass, and I say it does, so he pushes the lip of the… More

5 poems from “Born”

We begin with this Rorschach of blood on thigh: first, a gravedigger shoveling earth into our bed, then the rotting barn we once undressed in. Beneath this wet duress, we beg in unison to be born.   *** What’s the word for the soft white belly after the harpoon, but before the hooks? Last month,… More

Wound Care

Not even the Mexican saints can see how you unbutton your shirt tonight to show me the ghost of a zipper the sawbones left, taking back their staples. All your summer the taking out, sherd by sherd, a kind of dig, the slug he left you with, the rent-a-cop gunning for his baby mama, who… More

In a Waiting Room

1. Here I am—the annual physical, these days euphemized as a “well-check,” a ruse of language I like in some happy way, much better than “get on board” for “obey.” Still, in settings like this one, I confess I sometimes find myself thinking of Larkin, almost wanting to make conversation with the Larkin-id I try… More

Cash4droid

Nothing has changed. Somewhere to the right of the living they still mistake independence for a virtue, a defensive indifference, an Eden of last resort, and now that the War of 8:15 has broken out in the terminal we can see dreamcatcher earrings for what they are: dangerous excess. All the while, vehicles sleeker than… More

Teacher of Grass

Those who sleep, doubt, fall on their faces from lying positions while the dross of street lamps and chatter of night-shift life run on the darkness. Sleep is the ordination of senses. Let the lonely bureau preach it, confident in its bowl of change. Let the options of interpretation remain throughout the morning until in… More

Outing

She stared at the sky in the seat beside him as they lapped the miles on cruise, then woke from her fugue at a stop sign in Bliss to see just where they were and how much gas was left, to turn from the blue and give him a kiss. Back from their drive, he… More

A Conversation with James Wright’s Widow, Annie Wright

The following excerpt(s) are from an interview poet Chard deNiord conducted with Annie Wright in Westerly, Rhode Island on May 30th, 2012. The full interview will be available in July of 2018 as part of deNiord’s forthcoming collection of interviews, I Would Lie To You If I Could (University of Pittsburgh Press). EXCERPTS Chard deNiord:… More

The Androgynous Christ

Put the feeding ritual in a list: One hand here. The wrist below. Turn his head. Latch his lips. Trapped inside the breast: the wholly lost, the curdled hurts, a lesson no one taught. Milk won’t stream into his mouth. In the photo of the window, a Roman Christ with beard and breasts lifts a… More

How to Dismantle an Airplane

“When will enough people say, ‘Stop this madness; we don’t have to live like this’?” — Richard Martinez, father of Isla Vista shooting victim, Christopher Martinez   Step 1: Exhume the Engine It’s easier than it looks. Break down the metal shell and see a halfway heart of pistons, its shaking air-cooled ending like the… More

Old Fools

You fool, I said, to not look me in the eye. I used to wait for the serenade. Now I’m waiting for some lover who takes pictures of himself alone in his room to notice, beck and call, to thicken my milk. Some nights I go bustle my balling gown from a gray gull closet,… More

What Is Not Flesh Comes to a Point

–Rothko’s Phalanx of the Mind Everything is a weapon the glass pane poised in the geometry of its shanks even the shadows when imposed by the brain’s peach-pit wrinkles onto what could be floor             ceiling             sky but all with the same sharp intent thin             impaled           desire like an acupuncturist’s needle a parabola of… More

Saturday School Unteaching

Cast to the corner like punished women, or girls relieved to be dismissed for now for five days for less for more for body’s unholy action through no willed action, far from Book, Verses left untouched, God’s Pages unsullied with our fingers unstained—why assign this fluid with morality, no morality, bearer of DNA how does… More

A Style of Living

What about the dew- sodden morning, eyes open to the already turning earth? Or batter blinking in the pan? Because today we have nowhere to be. These movements are true. They’re made by hands toward a deer in the whistle grass. It is somewhere within arms reach and there’s no way to know in which… More

Gaze

My guide and I first purified before the sacrifice, but can you be purified I asked her without being eliminated or erased? My guide said it’s always but with you, why can’t you just archive the whiteness or curate the liquidity of the city and play your music or whatever you do? Here, she said,… More

The MRI Machine Sounds like a Hummingbird

A softer sound than the crude x-ray chirp of a sparrow or blue-bellied finch. Violet crowned, I can never not hunger for things less tethered to earth. It is through speed and lightness that time slows. Beyond that red-billed rhythm, I imagine your inner weather is nothing but wind, an irregular albino sighted against a… More

Vision

Thine eyes rain down from heaven. –Siouxsie Sioux   I am so exhausted of this particular nightmare imagination that I can’t even feel it anymore, which is to say I am exhausted of feeling, and of the feeling of exhaustion too, And when I look now upon the emptied sound of my voice, When I… More

What Does it Mean to be Critical?

In this essay, published in Fogged Clarity’s 2017 Spring Edition, poet Jeffrey Schultz elucidates the ideological constraints plaguing 21st century conceptions of criticality and critical thought. More