A Walrus Tusk from Alaska by Alfred Corn

A Walrus Tusk from Alaskaby Alfred Corn Arp might have done a version of it in white marble,the model held aloft, in approximate awe:this touch cross-section oval of tusk,dense and cool as fossil cranium— preliminary bloodshed condonableif Inupiat hunters on King Island mayfollow as their fathers did the bark of a husky,echoes ricocheted from roughed-upContinue reading “A Walrus Tusk from Alaska by Alfred Corn”

Letter from Shuyak Island, Alaska by Helena Minton

Letter from Shuyak Island, Alaskaby Helena Minton     To my grandmother I liked to sit at your dressing table.Whiskey-colored perfumes smelled of dust.The photograph beside the mirror showeda serious face, a man in pince-nezwho died the year I was born. Nights, lying on the fold-out couch,I was surrounded: mahogany, Chinese lamps,and paintings of forestsboxed in by bigContinue reading “Letter from Shuyak Island, Alaska by Helena Minton”

Hokusai in Iowa by Dan Campion

          I no longer remember I am here      there being no mountain and I at its foot           reading the sea-level poems about me     to Grant Wood whose denim bib rustles like a skiff’s sail           perhaps waves in dirt and tassels      really are like waves of the sea so long as we do not think about           whoseContinue reading “Hokusai in Iowa by Dan Campion”

Indian Summer by Diane Glancy

Indian Summerby Diane Glancy There’s a farm auction up the road.Wind has its bid in for the leaves.Already bugs flurry the headlightsbetween cornfields at night.If this world were permanent,I could dance full as the squaw dresson the clothesline.I would not see winterin the square of white yard-light on the wall.But something tugs at me.The worldContinue reading “Indian Summer by Diane Glancy”

Indian River by Wallace Stevens

Indian Riverby Wallace Stevens The trade-wind jingles the rings in the nets around racks by the docks on Indian River.It is the same jingle of the water among roots under the banks of the palmettoes,It is the same jingle of the red-bird breasting the orange-trees out of the cedars.Yet there is no spring in Florida,Continue reading “Indian River by Wallace Stevens”

A Postcard from Greece by A.E. Stallings

A Postcard from Greeceby A.E. Stallings Hatched from sleep, as we slipped out of orbitRound a clothespin curve new-watered with the rain,I saw the sea, the sky, as bright as pain,That outer space through which we were to plummet.No guardrails hemmed the road, no way to stop it,The only warning, here and there, a shrine:SomeContinue reading “A Postcard from Greece by A.E. Stallings”

Jim’s All-Night Diner by James Tate

Jim’s All-Night Dinerby James Tate Solemnity around the samovarwarms the old interlopers: grief is momentarily rinsedaway. They wait as if fora certain invitation. The voices outside area panoply of scorn. These yellow thumbs haul upthe hot liquid, but whenthe cup’s drunk it is more like an orphanage.The dead letter department,the salvation army, the animal rescueContinue reading “Jim’s All-Night Diner by James Tate”

Return to Florence by Geoffrey Grigson

Return to Florenceby Geoffrey Grigson A theatre-sky, of navy blue, at night:traffic of the night, it darts, it screams,it is straight swifts of night with lightedeyes: upwards I read on a new building’s Face, Here P.B. Shelley wroteOde to the West Wind. Your poet, no. Normine, yet saw wind as he will or wind,oh, IContinue reading “Return to Florence by Geoffrey Grigson”

A Single Night in the City of Gold by Debora Greger

A Single Night in the City of Goldby Debora Greger In the lost city of gold that was Oroville,the golden age had come and gone.I was the only person in the vast movie house.What was showing that winter nightthirty years ago? The Gold Rush, of course,as if it had arrived in 1925 and never left.Continue reading “A Single Night in the City of Gold by Debora Greger”