World Poetry, Inc

The American Poetry Review

The American Poetry Review July - August 2015

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

1 min
when i can’t pretend to eat her

I’ll go back to scalding baths and adding weight to the bar until my muscles ache. Already she’s begun to shake her head when the kisses get too heavy. She’s not in the mood. I kiss her when I lift her off the floor, and while I walk with her on my hip, and after I click the buckles on the carseat. The dentist said I must clench my teeth at night. Once she she mentioned it, I realized I’m clenching them all the time, whenever I give the baby a kiss. The beginning of love for her father is the only comparison I can make. I couldn’t walk down the street without trying to put my arms around him. I needed to reach across the table and touch the bridge of his nose. I wanted to curve my hand over his no-longer-erect penis after sex. As if I had discovered him or claimed him…

4 min
five elegies

elegy one now I am reading from Berg’s “Dōgen Versions” I’m old Some nameless creature moans was was was was was Maybe from a tree maybe in the sky Maybe me in the next-to-last line, somewhere near the edge of the word sky I begin to waken— a small, winged creature has landed on the white sand of the page margin. Casually, seeking to free it, I sweep with my hand, sweep it into the page. Staring, not believing, still thinking I can free it, I sweep again, spread it further. Permanent. Not fixable. Silent I become, the way I always am in the long presence of another’s death. Evening has darkened, grown cool. September. I will go from this bench, maybe he will be there elegy two in the face of the seven-year-old girl leaning her head into the hollow above her father’s hip I see the same at-peace face of almost all human ecstasy—his arm over her…

2 min

1. The world has always been ending, I said. And you said: Yes. Today, half-lost on the senderos, among its dry brush and thorns, I hear my mother’s voice in the rocks—see in the rust plains and lava bulbs and cairns stacked as markers her cells massing upon her heart, lungs, running riot along her sternum. Soon, the nights of marrow-talk, of jabs and the Seven Last Words. Serum nights with viols, the Joyful Mysteries, thumbs on decades falling asleep. I light a match with the end of another, warm poisons and gauze for the new year. 2. The world has always been ending, she said. And I said: Yes. Today we walk bearing hymnals and lilacs for the gazebo green, for stairwells and chalks drawn to mark the hem of a body. We bring each place its dirge in the shape of teeth, slugs, a tongue pressed to concrete, its fugue scored…

8 min
nine poems

Ode to Those Who Study the Miasmas Praise all who wade into the swamp, rubber pants up to their waists, anti-venom in a phial around their necks, each with a pencil, a machete. The pencil for notes—what went wrong here, there, everywhere. You know what the machete does. The miasmatists try to find the root beginning at the end of where the root reaches. They sometimes die doing this: passing out food to the starving, the line so long they starve before it ends. They try to understand the world’s malice. Why one man smells a stink on another. Why a man (his grandfather before him, his son to succeed him) pie-charts the decades, the centuries, of blood-feud. The miasmatists stab a microscope into a living louse to count the lice that will emerge from its next deposit. They burn to minimize the returns. They’ll dive into the swamp, too, if they…

2 min
little spells

We are not witches as fable stoops us hunchback over caldrons, not women hobbled sinister by absence though we know there are tides in our blood that lean us toward some ancient clock. Still if ox marrow soup is suggested, the pot readies and if we return from the Chinese market with a rough bag of earth tea, our house steeps in the dank reduction of bark and root, cold air cut heavy with mist. We may have eaten goose eggs, raw garlic and sweetbreads, charged our bathwater with carnelian and held our noses as we threw back shots of chlorophyll and kombucha. We may have made closet altars, placed bowls of royal pollen beneath our beds and because someone swore it worked, our underwear may have all gone orange, pockets filled with quartz turtles, a moonstone at the throat. If we turn out to be the end of…

7 min
twelve poems from plain songs

A Special APR Supplement The poems in this selection all appear in What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford, just published by Copper Canyon Press. Editor Michael Wiegers notes: Many of Stanford’s unpublished poems were organized by the poet into manuscripts of varying sizes. I’ve attempted to present the poems as the poet apparently wanted them to be gathered. However, numerous poems that appear in these manuscripts also feature in the books, sometimes in slightly different versions. Plain Songs gathers “versions” and “improvisations” influenced by the poems of Jean Follain. Schoolboys and Their Hound For the hell of it the schoolboys break the ice on the pond near the tracks they’re all bundled up in army greens stained with axle grease and dove blood and chalk and cum their belts hang down like snakes on a fence the leather is coming apart clear up…