World Poetry, Inc

The American Poetry Review

The American Poetry Review March/April 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

20 min
three poems

No Traveler Returns I was like you once, a sealed plastic bag of water filters floating on the sea. I thought my numbers proved my time and space on earth. I thought having children was a way of creating more love. I thought thoughts I was ashamed to speak in case they were what everyone already thought or in case they were unthinkable thoughts nobody would dare think much less say which would blow up the world everyone else had to live in if I said them. I muddled that distinction to extinction—pure silence not a piece of peace and a breathlessness not of wonder but blackthroat, choking on backwash. Once a wild tentacled screaming creature every inch a kissed lip of a beloved place, a true and relentless mind, all heart if heart is a…

5 min
five poems

We Turn Here If we don’t have to bring honesty into this,why bring it, or that’s at least what Ithink the question was, though what I moreremember is how it kept breaking—the question did—the way waves do,touching shore (one, that I shall be punished, two, that this is not yet the punishment) each wave eventuallyindistinguishable from the wave before. Wake Up The road down from everything even you had hardly dared to hope for has its lonely stretches, yes, but it’s hard to feel alone entirely: there’s a river that runs beside it the whole way down, and there’s an over-song that keeps the river company: I’m leaves, you’re the wind … I used to think the song had to do with the leaves’ confusion, the wind letting up, their mistaking this for something…

3 min
three poems

The Fire War is coming but my neighbors can’t believe it. I ring their doorbells and tell them: maybe not this May, but next June at the latest. They stare straight past me, at the maze of lawns, the sprinklers, a kid on a bike hurling the Globe onto porches. An old man invites me in and offers me macaroons. You look tense, he says. The armies, I recite, are facing each other in the Middle East. But it just reminds him of his childhood, which is mine. Didn’t I push him off the high swing? Now his mind has wandered, he begins nibbling the macaroon he offered me, all along the edges, revolving it in his hands rapidly, like a squirrel. The bombing, I say, happens at the speed of light. Once it starts…

30 min
of morning glass

Is this the first time that feeling comes, not at all frightening, but familiar to you? Your understanding of the water and its relation to the body, your being able to hold your own inside the enormous-unimaginable, to dive deep and come up far from where you started: when does it begin? Is it the day you step off of the last step in the shallow end of a neighbor’s pool up the street near the river, the water line shifting your vision to divide all that is in from all that is not in water? Or earlier, when you walk into the waves out front—an expression that means the water of the vast Atlantic Ocean that flows almost to your doorstep—feeling for the first time the relief that there…

3 min
four poems

The Great Lament A man I used to loveIs yelling at his girlfriend In a gas station in OhioIt’s not going to be this way forever She shouts at himThe smell of gasoline Sticks to her black sweaterBlack shoes and hair Thin thingI’m sorry God I hope someoneMakes it out of here Saint Saint Saint Death As Dymphna’s father gathershis men, a clam girl scratchesher wound under the orange lightblaring through her window. Later, the madman in the washroomwrings out the blood. Sometimes, when we love people We let them hurt us so they can feel betterSometimes this helps us feel better Until it doesn’tWhen a cord is a cut The split depends on the materialOf the thing If it frays then we have to get things in orderWe have to pick up someone’s kids from school We have to remind them they are lovedWe must remember…

1 min
invitation with three colors

after Marina Abramovic´ & Ulay It’s come to this:I want the arrow between us.My dear, what do youknow of blood? I forgetand don’t dream. My haunting:spring in abeyance. I’m theblack tie hunter and the unstartledprey. We fall awayfrom each other, like cut flowers,holding the trigger. Shelley Wong is the author of the chapbook Rare Birds (Diode Editions). She is the recipient of a 2017 Pushcart Prize and fellowships and support from Kundiman, MacDowell Colony, Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, Fine Arts Work Center, I-Park Foundation, Fire Island National Seashore, and SPACE.…