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The American Poetry Review

The American Poetry Review November/December 2016

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

4 min
david rivard

two poems Standoff I like reality. I like Rome especially, its diesel fuel and roasted coffee beans intact & on the feast day of San Lorenzo di Perugia or thereabouts a plate of spinach & sliced sausage to eat (the whole concoction dished up on torta al testo, a sort of primeval bread); I like to see a manhole struck by a snowplow too— maybe because it’s an accident, and some of what happens by accident occasionally (or more than occasionally) ought to be thought a gift?—the sparks kicked out by the plow blade blowing like thin solar flares across a dark, snowy street; and the princessas—it’s good to have them singing on the radio while I drive across town—all of those merrymaking, anorectic young women close at hand then, those newsworthy extroverts with…

1 min
peter feng

The Two Say iron is sweet, tree is square Say the door is glued together I can’t agree with you more or less Say water descends from heaven, air runs below Say this is a game of in-betweens I can’t agree with you more or less The lesser me can’t agree with you Who says what doesn’t appear has been thwarted To make room for what should appear The more of me is agreed by the lesser of you Who says what is lost will be regained and to have sooner Is to have later what can’t be taken away That is to say the glued door can be opened And iron has the taste and shape of a tree That is to say water and air are not separate The…

45 min
you could clone elvis from that wart poetry of the new southern gothic

I. Recently, I visited the Museum of Death, in Holly- wood, to see the preserved head of “The Bluebeard of Paris”: the French serial killer Henri Désiré Landru, who was guillotined in 1922 for murder- ing ten of his fiancées. Beneath the glass display dome, Landru’s mummified face resembled the matte texture of charcoal and his frayed lips re- called the fibrous edges of a dried mango slice. I lingered over the museum’s other collections: logo-engraved pocket knives from 1970s funeral homes; prison shivs from Alabama; Victorian mourning lockets stuffed with human hair. Since my childhood, I’ve been drawn to imagery of ghostly or macabre sort, fascinated by the strange stories behind the objects. And long before I knew the term “Southern Gothic,” I appreciated haunting quality that characterized many passed…

1 min
sally ball

First Elegy The night my grief passed through me most completely, I was making dinner. I had lit the grill and reached as ever to give a quick metallic scrub and then I realized you were ash. It was the day however many days after your death they’d said cremation would take place, which hadn’t struck me until the puff of these ashes in their shining chamber flung at me the knowledge of your body gone, incinerated, no mistake, no hope— me a zero stuffed with breath. A swarm of tears, and cries like none that I had ever made hauled through me, hauled my ‘soul’ my presence of mind my poise my being-anyone-at-all into a place of menace, the place where losing you meant losing everything about the way I see, make sense. So…

12 min
fading away forever?

“Time’s ruins build eternity’s mansions,” James Joyce wrote in Ulysses in 1922, no doubt hoping his own work would one day occupy one of those mansions. For Joyce the passage of time represented the elastic nature of eternality; the longer a thing is read and studied the more alive it grows. James Joyce is long dead; Ulysses yet lives. It further goes without saying that scores of writers, 20th century and otherwise, agreed and agree with Joyce vis-a-vis the eternality of well-crafted literature. What made a book come to life during its creation will hopefully retain that vivacity after its author has passed on. In his 1991 novel Immortality Milan Kundera has the (immortally?) deceased authors Ernest Hemingway and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe debate what the term the book takes…

1 min
kasey jueds

Litany (Flying) Because of the clear slender tube of her hearing aid curled into the secret of the little girl’s ear. Of the turquoise pill I swallow, unfurling its bright work. Of the torn corner of the envelope, burrowed at the bottom of the bag. Because of what burrows, what begins. Because the gridded lines of city scumbled now under cloud. Because of the long wait before, and how full it was of wanting. Then the word something nested near always, and the briefer words between made of twigs woven to keep the others safe. Through scratched glass, the blinding rush of sun. The small girl’s fox-bright eyes. And daffodils on the dresser back home, because all of them must be open now. Kasey Jueds is the author of Keeper (University of Pittsburgh…