On the Current State of Reading in America

If we have reached a point in history where very few actually read poems or novels from beginning to end anymore, then we have arrived at a post literary epoch made ironic for its surplus of literary publications and concurrent dearth of literary conversation—the latter of which is essential for advancing our culture and preserving… More

Box of Oxygen

At the gate     I told the blond ranger a man headed straight into me as if he’d knock me down or walk right through my body a door     She smiled said for some it’s a meeting place     I had to run a long way to reach the tiny buildings for them to… More

My brother says my milk smells different

Keetje Kuipers Meaning different from his wife’s, meaning a melody all my own, playing in my body like the song the headphoned girl on the bus mouths the words to—silent for the rest of us, a tune only when we press her lips to our ear. A friend stored her milk in a humming freezer,… 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

Albany Journal – 7/25/12

I’ve just returned from a two-day trip to Allentown, New Jersey where my relatives live.  They live in a retirement community that is gated with too many security precautions and a beautiful clubhouse with two swimming pools – one indoor and one outdoor.  It’s interesting to see how well my family has done over the course… More

Albany Journal – 7/6/12

Record high tempertures still invade Albany, and around the country the weather is much worse.  I heard that Chicago reached record heat yesterday, Texas still has a major drought on its hands, and rainstorms pummeled Washington D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia – not to mention the wildfires in Colorado.  If there’s an apocolypse coming then… More

Albany Journal – 7/4/12

It’s a Happy 4th of July here in Albany, and right now, as I sit in the cool comfort of an apartment that doesn’t get any sunlight, it is now 90 degrees outside and humid as hell.  ‘Hazy, Hot, and Humid” as a meteorolgist would say.  I took a long walk in this hot afternoon,… More

Top Ten Reads of 2011

he following list represents the highlights of a year of reading.  It includes three novels, two works of creative non-fiction, two books of poetry, one biography, one work of criticism/theory, and one book of photography accompanied by poems. The diversity is unintentional.  Some are recent publications, while others are new discoveries for me… More

The Dark Crowd

Brendan Constantine There are people our eyes can’t ride. My grandmother had an expression for it in Greek: Our eyes fall off them. Who don’t you see? What do they make plain instead? Have you thanked them? It’s probably relative. That is, not a question of beauty or character but rather, where you’re standing &… More

Digital

Jeffrey Parker The numb narcotic of scrolling down the forever page, growing longer as the day dissolves its relevance into repetitions of images and words, floating over black electricity and disappearing as quickly from memory as from the last neurons – shifting between the hum of backlit screens and the faint subconscious, the dead white… More

Before I was Born

Rachel Mehl my parents read Mother Earth News, sold their house in Seattle to buy a 35 acre plot of forest and swamp. They built a house with a wood furnace, and planted a vine maple in the courtyard to cool the hall in summers. Grandpa Hi water witched. They put in a well. My… More

Another Broken Doe

Rachel Mehl A parent could tell a child she was praying, her back legs broken, facing the trees along the freeway, sitting up like a dog. I had to swerve not to hit her. I have a friend who writes of desire. Of the bodies flesh and bone. Sex without love, I’ve figured out, but… More

From Beneath the Bridge

P. Ivan Young I hear the knocking of their hooves, watch the wood splinter, needle the sun shafts that pierce my dark. Who wouldn’t challenge the boldness of young goats crossing to greener pastures as if this were some right? I knew their deception would end badly for me. But because they were trying something… More

Hard Frost

Ruth Foley Suddenly, the leaves cannot keep silent. They snap like brittle fingers under torture. They slice the air and leave it gasping, open. At first, they say, you are too surprised to feel pain. I think the air must be like that today, stunned into speechlessness by the violent turning of what once seemed… More

Mirages

Mara Michael Jebsen i’m starting to be startled       by the way time passes it seems to fall out              like clumps of hair its November         the Hudson river’s all gooseflesh and silver the history books sing of trains, souls boarding and riding       till… More

Untitled Suite, 3

Simon Perchik Again this shrub each Spring stirred by the same passion its leaves never forgot –one heart safely dead center the other rash brushes against your shoulder and goes one from there –they sense this bush is pregnant, feed it blooms and the root floats up so the child inside is born in the… More

Robert Wrigley

In an intimate interview, the prolific American poet discusses process, politics, and his acclaimed new collection, Beautiful Country. More