Vibiana in the Half-court Set

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  Callie and I were thirteen the summer of ‘87, the summer the Los Angeles Lakers won the World Championship. During the school months, we were required to wear the Saint Vibiana uniform, only the purple and gold of our … Read More

Unearthing

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  Prayer Book of the Anxious by Josephine Yu (Elixir Press, 2016). Letters from Limbo by Jean Marie Beaumont (Cavan Kerry, 2016).   “Oh, but the heart isn’t fooled / by the gorgeous lies of poems,” Josephine Yu declares toward … Read More

Poetry as Resistance and Remembrance

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  Whereas by Layli Long Soldier (Graywolf Press, 2017). Cold Pastoral by Rebecca Dunham (Milkweed Editions, 2017).   Layli Long Soldier’s first collection tasks itself with writing back to and simultaneously interrogating official political speech. Whereas, as poem and collection, … Read More

Knowing the Terrain

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  Believe What You Can by Marc Harshman (Vandalia Press, 2016). Two Worlds Exist by Yehoshua November (Orison Books, 2016). Arsonville by David Blair (Western Michigan University Press, 2016).   Embracing change in Appalachia. In his second full-length collection of … Read More

Mother Tongue

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  In the Language of My Captor by Shane McCrae (Wesleyan University Press, 2017).   As I read Shane McCrae’s In the Language of My Captor, I thought of the Romanian poet Paul Celan writing in German, his first tongue … Read More

The Spectrum of Wonders

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  It was 1987, and I was eighteen years old. My parents made me get a post-graduation summer job in the cafeteria of the local college, a liberal arts school founded in the 1800s by a religious sect I’d never … Read More

The Great Humidity of Longing

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  Flower baskets drool petals and the teenage girl in her pink and black skull pajamas walks beneath the flowers without hurry.   Parts of the morning are still in the future.   God, that racket inside you is a … Read More

Picking Up Pecans

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  Ms. Pearl’s son turned on her Christmas lights so no one would know she’s not there— a row of electric candles in the window flicker blue, gold, blue again. Back bowed   in her rain-soft front yard, as we … Read More

Menopause

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  The water element she builds in the back yard resembles a sarcophagus.   A terrier owned by a neighborhood widower falls in and drowns.   A frog lives in the water element. She fishes him out in spring to … Read More

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