from Cockaigne by Matthew Olzmann (poetry, ’09)

A prose piece by Matthew Olzmann (poetry, ’09) appears in Virginia Quarterly Review Online:
from Cockaigne
It was actually a good year, the year before the downfall, a surprisingly good year in our little town. It was a year of bread on the table, a year with a new IPA in our glasses, a year with friends who visited with great frequency. There was laughter, that year, and uncontaminated water flowed from every faucet. In general, our children were kind, that year, to the animals they found in the forests, and I held your hand as we walked through the park. … continue reading here.

Two Poems by Paul Otremba

Two poems by Paul Otremba appear in The Account:

The New Republic of California

I was not remembering the Republic—the cooked egg expertly peeled and split,
a more perfect union toppled by a hair—because that was love they split.

It’s a problem with the math, being told to pick points on a map, then to imagine
your body in towns you’ll never visit, the distance constantly split.

On this side, a landscape of prisons, pox, slumping extractions of minerals;
on that side, prayer groups and quarterly projections, so hardly a good split.

. . . continue reading here.

“The Art of Suspension: The Poetry of Marianne Boruch” by Shari Wagner

photo by Will Dunlap

Poet Marianne Boruch appears as a special feature in Indiana Poet Laureate Shari Wagner’s Through the Sycamores:

The Art of Suspension: The Poetry of Marianne Boruch

There’s so much to admire in a Marianne Boruch poem–where to start? I love the surprising metaphors; the complexity of ideas; the enjambment of lines that leave me slightly off kilter and in suspense; the intimate relationship between sound, sense, and form.  Maybe what I love most is Marianne’s passion for the act of seeing, for surveying the world–up close, from a distance, or in the wings. She raises the camera, the binoculars or the stereopticon. In one poem she notes how her son peers at the “enormous eye” of a horse, and in another she adopts the perspective of a hundred-year-old cadaver, head wrapped in towels, who views her own dismemberment.  She ventures into the eagle-eyed perch of a virtual bombardier, one who hones in through the remote sensing device of a drone. In Marianne’s poems, the act of looking has many dimensions, including the ethical.

The importance of seeing is reinforced here by the poet’s original watercolors (artwork never before exhibited). . . . continue reading here.

“Portrait in Graphite and Ornamental Hagiography” by C. Dale Young

(c) William Anthony

C. Dale Young‘s poem “Portrait in Graphite And Ornamental Hagiography” appears in The Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day feature for October 13th:

Portrait in Graphite and Ornamental Hagiography

You may not believe it, but I have tried,
set my sights on the morning star
in belief it would guide me. I have tried.

I have tried, as the Jesuits taught, to be
singular, to be whole, to be one. The labor
of this was exhausting. Time reveals things

. . . continue reading here.