The Material

Steven Ratiner
| poetry


The June air thread-
bare with rain.


Cloud cover, the un-
quilted cotton batting.


My eyes stitch
this (brick-red,


beech-green, sea-
pearl-sky) design be-


cause your eyes, your
blighted hands can


no longer work
the material, this


mortal longing, this
piecemeal delight.

Steven Ratiner has published three poetry chapbooks and his work has appeared in dozens of journals in America and abroad including Parnassus, AGNI, Hanging Loose, Poet Lore, QRLS (Singapore) and Poetry Australia. He’s written essays and poetry criticism for The Christian Science Monitor and their media stations, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Washington Post. Giving Their Word – Conversations with Contemporary Poets was re-issued in a paperback edition from University of Massachusetts Press and features interviews with some of poetry’s most vital contemporary voices including Seamus Heaney, Mary Oliver, Charles Simic, Bei Dao, Maxine Kumin, and the last full-length interview with Bill Stafford before his death.

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