Cultuur & Literatuur
The American Poetry Review

The American Poetry Review January/February 2017

The American Poetry Review reaches a worldwide audience six times a year with the finest contemporary poetry, columns, interviews, photos, translations, and reviews. Every issue includes new voices, established masters, and exciting new translations.

United States
World Poetry, Inc
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6 Edities

in deze editie

12 min.
two poems

Hypnosis at the Bird Factory (there is) A parade of accidents. A war is over so a smokestack chokes (indicating presence of) an unstable reservoir of pressure (that) forces relief: a release of manufactured birds (upon release) dark density flies (these releases are also outbreaks; released, they become) winged epidemics (which when slightly magnified, are revealed to be, on this magnified scale) festivals of beaks (easily connected to) synchronized hungers (that) feed little avian shops of horrors (that) feed little avian shops of delight (shifting the gaze to other angles available from the observer’s location, it is possible to notice) a similar address of leaf storm feathers (part of which is Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ short story, “Leaf Storm,” as the title of the novella is usually translated in English, yet something else, in all likelihood, when translated into other languages from an English translation and not directly from the Spanish, which is a translation anyway, of an idea and all of its components,…

1 min.
angels in the sun

After Turner I would have waited alone a thousand years for the coming of angels, blinding bright as the spring sun to arrive, to abandon this world for another. Stunned by their flashing lights aflame across the bow of their space craft—landing lights for that world. Herds of animals: horses, humans, and fish fixed. The angels approached. Come angels! Come beasts! Men and women cried out to each other; the angels cried; some were lost between their earthly life and paradise and what is paradise, anyway? Few imagined being bound to this world; blue halo of emerald mountains; extraordinary, ordinary—they rose, a crucifixion yardarm flying away. RUBEN QUESADA serves an editor for The Rumpus and Queen Mob’s Teahouse. He has received fellowships and residencies from the Red Lodge Clay Center, Lambda Literary Writers Retreat, Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, Vermont Studio Center, Santa Fe Art Institute, Squaw Valley Community of…

11 min.
reunion: the violence and the joy ap2 books of black lives in aracelis girmay’s the black maria

ARACELIS GIRMAY’S INTERCONNECTED POEMS IN HER THIRD collection, The Black Maria, make for a moving suite of poems that relate to police brutality. The book begins with poems about Eritrean history that relay the violence that has haunted the country’s history, but the book eventually turns to violence in America with a series of numbered poems that address the growing epidemic of police brutality. The flow and associations that she makes between police brutality and how it threatens home and motherhood for the poet herself is written in her distinct voice, and evades a level of didacticism that people expect in political poems. The timeliness and the emotional chords that Girmay strikes picks up the tradition of poets like Audre Lorde and June Jordan (even as Girmay quotes Jordan’s “Sunflower…

4 min.
five poems

Southern Exposure Bring me your silent lake in the woods and your field of harvested grain with some rich man’s horse pastured nearby, its eyes pearlescent, its tangled mane. Bring your late November rain, your hurricane plywood and muscle car the sounds of lovemaking under the bridge, your troublesome blurry stars. Her hair’s in your mouth, her breath a soft whistle, a baby bird here and then gone, the roses planted next to the porch slowly turning black in the dawn. Nothing tastes better than grits and eggs, eating French toast and watching new snow dusting the crepe myrtle branches, frozen magnolia leaves clattering below. It’s a winter Sunday in the pine-tar South and the gray sky like distant satin covers the roads and the smoky woods where mash whiskey cooks in a kettle and Lincoln’s ghost squats in Oakwood Cemetery bent down, counting the Confederate dead. It’s a scientific fact that it takes a…

7 min.
four poems

P. L. 1. What Is It About Our Lives I’m not in a war zone, and I don’t have even a cold much less a condition requiring tubes, requiring knives, and words like “litigation,” “overdose,” “foreclosure” aren’t a part of my day . . . why can’t we ever find a pleasure in this, the real pleasure of everything that could have happened but none of it happened, what is it about our lives that leaves us always seeking Something and unaware of the benediction of Nothing? 2. The Hum To the snooty horticulturalist whose hobby is breeding competition roses, the thorns are nothing—are beneath consideration. The florist snips them. But as Phil Levine says in one of his final poems, “thorns / too need to live.” They’re as remarkable a combining of sun and nutrient as the sumptuous, mazey folds of the flower. The nutrients need to live. Their atoms need to live.…

4 min.
two poems

Dilate I. Placed on my chest warm fragile as the skin of nightfall she was heavier than imagined her eyes untied from northern poles from hard unseen winter months she arrived safely mid-spring she scrunched her brow an up-look to her father. There’s a turning as pupils dilate as black vernal suns slip into equinox. This was we never forget her first act. II. All is experienced throu g h the body somebody told me. III. Though I did not feel it when the midwife invited when he cut the tie the clean umbilical sever when I smiled I did not feel it as they took her to wash and weigh when I said you should go with her. Both of them gone father and baby in a supple empty orange light I listened from behind a clock on the wall my own face heavy plate glass though all experience is through the body I did not…