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Autumn 2011


She opens her eyes. She’d squeezed them closed, waiting for the voices to pass her by. As if closing them might allow her to disappear. It was a ritual she’d believed in when she was younger, but now she’s nearly eleven and has lost her faith. She’s wedged between the chest freezer and the cinder [...]

Yom Kippur

The sunlight didn’t break, we are broken, the word ‘broken’ is broken. ~ Yehuda Amichai   Today, everything hurts, and I’m as close to god as I’ll ever come, or want to be.  I try to forgive myself, fist knocking at the chest, a door that forgot how to open.  The prayer book’s spine against [...]

Time Stands Still

I sail in my dreams, I am dreaming of home. ~ Osama Abu Kabir, from Poem s from Guantanamo   For a Casio,           for the way its back case can                     come undone, expose the mechanism           that can be wired to a bomb.                     For a Casio, whose silver face glistened           when he washed himself for prayers. [...]

the alarm clocks were the first to turn. you reached with morning pulleys at your eyes in the bone-colored light to slap at the clock that wasnt singing. figured you set it wrong and went to work where eventually word got around because everyone shrugs in late and embarrassed and then, gathered in jessicas office [...]

The Rabbi of Seventy-Second Street, a kabbalist, wore his hat inside out. He claimed this was not for mystical reasons, but simply so he could show himself to the world as he felt himself to be. The Rabbi of Seventy-Second Street, when he left his home, which was not often, would stream through the crowds [...]

i Look at them, slumped in the corner there. Ears pounded and mouse-bitten, ragged legs askew. Rubber lips kissing cold cement. Even here, among the abandoned, they are twice forsaken: the coffee cup, chipped to a wobble, is ever at hand; the faded sweater desires shoulders, sure, but a hanger anyway does the trick; even [...]

Bob Dylan: Like a Complete Unknown by David Yaffe Yale University Press 2011 The day after John F. Kennedy’ s inauguration, fifty years ago, Robert Zimmerman, of Hibbing, Minnesota, who had rechristened himself Bob Dylan in honor of the Welsh poet, first arrived in New York City. He got off the bus, tramped over to [...]

What I recommend: This novel

The Call by Yannick Murphy Harper Perennial 2011 What I Read: The Call by Yannick Murphy Favorite Quote: “Because light takes a while to travel, what we’re seeing is always in the past.” How It Is Structured: The Call is written in diary-like entries told from the point of view of David Appleton, a veterinarian [...]

The Ultimate Mashup

Invisible Mink by Jessie Janeshek Iris Press 2010 Jessie Janeshek’s Invisible Mink is a collection worth devoting your time to and, in fact, one which can only be properly enjoyed as a project. Nearly all of the poems in Invisible Mink are based on movies from the 1930s and 1940s, and I fully intend to [...]