Venice, Unaccompanied by Monica Youn

Venice, Unaccompaniedby Monica Youn Wakingon the train, I thoughtwe were attacked              by light:chrome-winged birdshatching from the lagoon.              That first daythe buoys were allthat made the harbor              bearable:pennies sewn into a hemline.Later I learned to live in it,              to walkthrough the alien city—a beekeeper’s habit—              with fierce lightclinging to my head and hands.Treated as gently asContinue reading “Venice, Unaccompanied by Monica Youn”

In the Happo-En Garden, Toyko by Linda Pasdan

In the Happo-En Garden, Toyko by Linda Pasdan The way a birthmark on a woman’s face defines rather than mars her beauty, so the skyscrapers— those flowers of technology— reveal the perfection of the garden they surround. Perhaps Eden is buried here in Japan, where an incandescent koi slithers snakelike to the edge of theContinue reading “In the Happo-En Garden, Toyko by Linda Pasdan”

Sunrise, Grand Canyon by John Barton (Arizona)

Sunrise, Grand Canyonby John Barton We stand on the edge, the fallinto depth, the ascent of light revelatory, the canyon walls movingup out of shadow, litcolours of the layers cutting down through darkness, sunrise as itpasses a precipitate of the river, its burnt tangerineflare brief, jagged bleeding above the far rim for a splitsecond IContinue reading “Sunrise, Grand Canyon by John Barton (Arizona)”

The Everglades by Campbell McGrath (Florida)

The Evergladesby Campbell McGrath Green and blue and white, it is a flagfor Florida stitched by hungry ibises. It is a paradise of flocks, a cornucopiaof wind and grass and dark, slow waters. Turtles bask in the last tatters of afternoon,frogs perfect their symphony at dusk— in its solitude we remember ourselves,dimly, as creatures ofContinue reading “The Everglades by Campbell McGrath (Florida)”

Early Morning in Milwaukee by John Koethe

Early Morning in Milwaukee (excerpt)by John Koethe Is this what I was made for? Is the world that fitsLike what I feel when I wake up each morning? SteamcloudsHovering over the lake, and smoke ascending from ten thousand chimneysAs in a picture on a calendar, in a frieze of ordinary days?Beneath a sky of oatmealContinue reading “Early Morning in Milwaukee by John Koethe”

Belle Isle, 1949 by Philip Levine (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Belle Isle, 1949by Philip Levine We stripped in the first warm spring nightand ran down into the Detroit Riverto baptize ourselves in the brineof car parts, dead fish, stolen bicycles,melted snow. I remember going underhand in hand with a Polish highschool girlI’d never seen before, and the criesour breath made caught at the same timeonContinue reading “Belle Isle, 1949 by Philip Levine (Detroit, Michigan, USA)”

Love Poem to Los Angeles by Luis J. Rodriguez (L.A. Poet Laureate, 2014-2016)

Love Poem to Los Angeles by Luis J. Rodriguez       with a respectful nod to Jack Hirschman 1. To say I love Los Angeles is to say I love its shadows and nightlights, its meandering streets, the stretch of sunset-colored beaches. It’s to say I love the squawking wild parrots, the palm trees that fail toContinue reading “Love Poem to Los Angeles by Luis J. Rodriguez (L.A. Poet Laureate, 2014-2016)”

Young in New Orleans by Charles Bukowski

Young in New Orleansby Charles Bukowski starving there, sitting around the bars,and at night walking the streets for hours,the moonlight always seemed faketo me, maybe it was,and in the French Quarter I watchedthe horses and buggies going by,everybody sitting high in the opencarriages, the black driver, and inback the man and the woman,usually young andContinue reading “Young in New Orleans by Charles Bukowski”

[Traveler, your footprints] by Antonio Machado

[Traveler, your footprints] by Antonio Machado Traveler, your footprints are the only road, nothing else. Traveler, there is no road; you make your own path as you walk. As you walk, you make your own road, and when you look back you see the path you will never travel again. Traveler, there is no road;Continue reading “[Traveler, your footprints] by Antonio Machado”

Chicago by Carl Sandburg

Chicagoby Carl Sandburg Hog Butcher for the World,  Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,  Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler;  Stormy, husky, brawling,  City of the Big Shoulders: They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your painted women under the gas lamps luring the farm boys.And they tell me you areContinue reading “Chicago by Carl Sandburg”