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The American Poetry Review July/August 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.

United States
World Poetry, Inc
6 Issues

in this issue

4 min
three poems

Losing Language 1. Men in their fifties find themselves wandering What it means to be displaced by another, to be ecstatic sometimes in everyday ways I wanted him as my companion There was no place in which he wanted to be, so traveling was a labor If I lived with him I would never leave She said I looked as if I had fallen in love It was true, but not the way she imagined 2. I was less sad about his death than moved by his life Displaced What it means to be ecstatic I asked him to tell me about the other side Which one, he said 3. Any life can be if it is lived In some brain injuries, the afflicted becomes less fluent, less able under effort to generate new thoughts It’s like forgetting a language If the brain recovers, the afflicted becomes able once…

5 min
three poems

Love Poem for the Proles My unpredictability cancels out my fidelity, which cancels out my trifling punk rock of a country heart which loves ruin more than Easter eggs and real eggs laid by real birds in real nests more than the female nakedness in the burnished black jacket trying to sell me something here on the HuffPo where I spend all day going from bad-news commotion to worse-news upshot like it’s my expertise to catalogue the twenty-first century’s decomposition as if I went to school for that and wrote a book on that when really I’m just lazy and domestic. Not yet a Granny in a rocker on a porch in West VA, but, you know, little half-pink roses on smocks and a fat philodendron in a white wire basket! I want to contradict the fluttery hankerings-after of woodpeckers with suet…

2 min
four poems

The Watch I threw a watch into Lake Michigan In honor of eternity I’d do anything To make her laugh on the jagged rocks It started to rain at Evanston Beach Her sadness was like a great cloud In a suburb north of the city We used to neck in her parents’ kitchen I remember the heat of our bodies Against the refrigerator One Sunday morning I went to church with her family And stood up when everyone else knelt down She believed the voice of the Lord God walked In the garden in the cool of the day But I heard thunderstorms I recall the lightning between us The night we broke up in a small red car In a parking lot near the beach We sobbed for hours and hours And lied on the phone in the morning I felt too young to rescue her The watch was waterproof I wish…

36 min
“outward in larger terms / a mind inhaling exigency”

AP2 Books Collected Poems: 1950–2012 by Adrienne Rich W. W. Norton 1216 pages, $60 hardcover, 2016 i. “without the other end”: An Introduction In the “Introduction” to her first volume of collected poems, Collected Early Poems: 1950–1970, published in 1993, Adrienne Rich looked back on the beginnings of her career as a poet: “I was like someone walking through a fogged-in city, compelled on an errand she cannot describe . . . holding one end of a powerful connector, useless without the other end.” The powerful connecter could be understood alternatively as poetry or as consciousness itself, and over the decades Rich would come to explore how profoundly both depended upon the situation of the body—a body among bodies—in history. The character-self in her 1993 “Introduction” can see how the journey toward the “other end,”…

3 min
two poems

Villagers boxes taped up and up then tied with twine | addressed on every side | in that careful longhand taught on other continents | they looked like mail bombs | going round and round the carousel | in a regional anxiety | stinking barrel of sheep’s cheese beaded in sweat | olive oil tin wrapped in much plastic | each printed letter a rounded separate bundle | standing on its own | the sore thumbs of my parents’ immigrant luggage at the United terminal | a friend who doesn’t speak at airports | except when spoken to | word for home that could also mean journey | or neverarrived | at the baggage claim | a person waits in a t-shirt printed with English words | whose arrangement is nonsensical…

8 min
seven poems

The Collection of the Canter Three days a week, into that stable of pre-adolescence I strode, where the smell of Absorbine and hoof dressing rose astringent from the cross ties, where a girl in muddy boots circled a curry comb, where the language of bridles and bits rolled in my mouth as I said d-ring snaffle and rubber pelham, Kimberwicke and hackamore. And I learned a horse must come to the bit, you cannot force him to collect himself, you must ask him with your weight and legs and hands. The girl walked her horse into his stall, unbuckled the halter, and hugged the V where the breastplate left a sweaty place she scrubbed away. We grazed them on braided nylon ropes or leather lead shanks. Tornado, the open jumper, wore quilted leg wraps daredevil Debbie knelt to secure. Summer Saturdays we trailered to shows, entered classes where…