World Poetry, Inc

The American Poetry Review

The American Poetry Review January/February 2019

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.

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United States
World Poetry, Inc
6 Issues

in this issue

10 min
a refusal to mourn the deaths, by gunfire, of three men in brooklyn

And at times, didn’t the whole countrytry to break his skin?—Tim Seibles You strike your one good match to watch its bloomand jook, a swan song just before a nightwind comes to snuff it. That’s the kind of dayit’s been. Your Black & Mild, now, useless asa prayer pressed between your lips. God damnthe wind. And everything it brings. You hitthe corner store to cop a light, and spythe trouble rising in the cashier’s eyes.TV reports some whack job shot two copsthen popped himself, here, in the borough, justone mile away. You’ve heard this one before.In which there’s blood. In which a black man snaps.In which things burn. You buy your matches. Christis watching from the wall art, swathed in fire. This country is mine as much as an orphan’s house is…

5 min
two poems

The Forty-Third Day with lines from “Ocean of Earth” by Guillaume Apollinaire,translated by Ron Padgett Today I got mad at a door I did most of the talking In the sunlight I sneezed & reabsorbed the sneezes I went to the room they suggested Let’s all look at loneliness together How many holes do I have I like my whiskey messy I kiss my wife without her diamonds on I like a jug with a sturdy handle The evening as it’s turning brown My bare ass bounces to the bottom of the sea I wrote an ode to Dillon I did not do most of the talking There’s a rat in the trash room Twelve minutes to twelve Either my body is a bullet That will not stop misfiring Or I’m asleep in the crawlspace Lapping at lead paint I am the blood & the surface to which The blood is fixed I am not…

3 min
two poems

The Heart Is Not a Synonym for the Chest What you called a cloud was not a cloud. I am in hell here. Hell is a partywhere I don’t sing, and don’t dance, and someone turns to me and says, “Youare a very pretty girl. Don’t ever forget that.” I spend all night tramping up and down the staircase trying to figure out ifyou really love me. Each stair a copy of the first and each of your words a copy of the one beforeit—love, love, love—above us an 18-wheeler on the highway bucks andshifts—fishtailing—and you think of me. I would think of you, too, bucking and shifting, but that is not my heart. That is my left breast. There is a photocopier at the top of the staircase. I make a photocopy of myheart for…

27 min
seven seconds in the life of the honeyed muse or, what is art?

I. THE DOCTRINE OF SIGNATURES 1.1 In trying to think about what art is, we might begin with the mind-clearing assumption that art itself is not a real entity, but a notion, an idea, a concept within which we group the real entities of “artist” (the maker) and a “work of art” (the thing that’s made). Which is no solution at all. For we’re still left wondering: what within “the thing that’s made” makes it a “work of art”? 1.1a Since words only mean what we agree they mean—the term “hatchet,” for example, ceases to mean anything if one person understands it to refer to a light bulb, another to the Sistine Chapel, another to the flight of birds—we must assume that the meaning of the term can only be deduced from a set…

4 min

My nail cuts through the peel, sends a burstof oily mist through the sun splayed overmy aisle seat. The droplets movein tandem, refracting the light,and with the mist come bright citrus notesthat rapidly disperse into the olfactory systemsof surrounding passengers, interrupting their thoughts,stirring awake the man in front of mewho hours ago told his seatmate I’m takinga little Valium. If you need to pee, climb over me.He shivers, rubs his eyes. We speed into a knotof clouds and before we’re through he’s asleep again.Chipped ice sweating onto napkins mappedwith the country. An already-completedcrossword in the seatback. A gameI play with myself is to see how longI can keep the peel as a single coil, its carpetedunderside, its surface pocked like a teenage face.Each tear releases more droplets I admirefor how…

8 min
from atopia

See, the thing is poet, is that you’re failing.You’re failing at capitalism.You’re failing at “self-care.”You’re failing at feminism.You’re failing at activism.You’ve fallen deep into your addiction.Your despair spreads everywhere.None of this is your faultbut it’s still happening.The failure is the fracture is the opening.Like that infection that started in your elbowand moved to the depths of your being.You spend the night reading about a godcleaved in two so the dream demons come true.Capitalism is shrinking and the richhave gotten more violent.Capitalism could fail and win at the same time.Poet, this is called “crisis.”The swans and the trees and the birds are buzzing.They don’t care.They hum.Capitalism won.I went on a run.I am dumb I hum on my long run. *That hail is rare in South GeorgiaThat once my former colleague saw a…