TheThe Poetry
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"He bends, takes into his arms a limp child's body.
We wonder how he keeps singing as he carries her.
How slack and white she is, like wet moth wings."

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"It's not about the pain, she says. It's about the commitment."

"It was the cotton sheets.
I wondered my great-great grandparents’
hands & lives
bent over small, tough
clouds."

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"The news is certain of his motives. Religion, or vengeance for a
small parcel of land, or jealousy, an attack against us because
we possess the most good anybody could imagine."

debolina dey

Afterlives we brood upon and plan. We disagree/Plan again/This immortal love and in them implicit deaths we tremble at/How should we live on till then?

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Nobody hearts a cemetery
like we do,
where re-enactors bite
their bullets between headstones,
and ancient belles in neck-high silk
prepare for the previously fought
war. Every day is a day before.
Though we do hear
the news. Oh sure. It gets to us.
Story is, up north, people shit
crushed pineapple and rest stop
whores make change with paper
money.

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The Dean bullied, “I know your people believe in oral tradition
but you exist in our system now. No playing poetry on CDs.
Students have to read that stuff on the page. They forget
what they hear in ten seconds.”

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What if trees could talk of origins, talk
of surnames, talk of hand-tied nooses

to a gin fan anchor? Could talk
of killing seasons and each unremark-

able black body fertilized in southern soils,
could a panacea correct history?

"This week, I have the distinct pleasure of curating a group of beautiful things. I suppose that's true every week, but I think this group is special in that beauty and the idea of possessing beauty, carrying it with us - these are perhaps the most immediately obvious qualities in each of this week's pieces. If they create the conversation that I see alchemically arising from their juxtaposition, I think that conversation is about the redemptive power of beautiful objects, and about the human preoccupation of carrying beauty with us."

Susannah-Nevison

They carry/you home in pieces—your body/boneless as hair—that birds press/your bones in their beaks—that bodiless/hair lines a nest—that birds truss/their nest with your bones—that every/beak widens a wound

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Mambo Julie is a dynamic priestess of the Vodou tradition, an initiate daughter of New Orleans Mambo Sallie Ann Glassman and granddaughter of the world-famous sequin flagmaker Edgard Jean-Louis, one of Haiti’s most well-known and respected sequin artists.

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"Some people read horoscopes daily. Others, a Bible verse. Fortune cookies, proverbs, the bathroom collection of Calvin and Hobbes—everyone appreciates brevity. Short gives us nuggets of short ‘information’ in the guise of great literature. Without overly lending itself to debating literary labels, the validity of different forms, or the need for genre categories, the book is a veritable treasure chest—a collection of writing so varied, it boggles the mind to think of the time, space, and circumstance these pieces traversed to unite in this gift of a collection."

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Somewhere else now

girls vibrate urgently for your tips and when I say girls

I mean that.

Biography ungags me
then saws the scene in half.

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When my mother tells me, under allegiance:

Be happy! When you smile happiness is chase you –
her language is a hand she lays on my head.

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A clamor of picket signs/glitter thrown against artillery/Twenty teenagers are handcuffed and taken away/Some good
books are banned behind bars/Their brown backs slouched.

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You could be almost
anywhere (very red and very bruised) almost any girl

(no socks no coat no shoes) whose family
dogs were trained to bark for a child

of a rabbit, a child of a deer, and you—
left for dead, bloodletting the snow in your front lawn