We Real Cool Gwendolyn Brooks THE POOL PLAYERS. SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL. We real cool. We Left school. We Lurk late. We Strike straight. We Sing sin. We Thin gin. We Jazz June. We Die soon.
Cause of Death Sandra Gustin These are times when judicial proceedings would do well to include a linguist, a forensic linguist... —El País, Catalan Edition, 27 March 2018 A foreigner, I walk Barcelona breathless, marveling at files of school children laughing, chatting as teachers shepherd them in Catalan, at street signs in the same language, at elderly men and elderly women on benches or peering down from balconies, once shamed or worse for speaking this, their heart language, gossiping now in short words ending in plosives, in fricative zh´s and sh´s not found in Spanish, all in my lifetime, and I [...]
14 Love Songs Elizabeth Jacobson Above a pond, I sit on a wooden bench and throw pebbles into the willows. A rush of sunlight and wind creates a path in a channel of water, dances between the melting ice and brown islands of bulrush. The resident osprey, its eyes the color of yellow grass, follows my tossing hand. Love is a diorama of inner life in an outer world. I look down and find a chunk of fossilized rock with an entire Paleozoic shell sticking out. I am not afraid of love, but terrified of how it is my steady guide. [...]
Cut Lilies Noah Warren More than a hundred dollars of them. It was pure folly. I had to find more glass things to stuff them in. Now a white and purple cloud is breathing in each corner of the room I love. Now a mass of flowers spills down my dining table— each fresh-faced, extending its delicately veined leaves into the crush. Didn’t I watch children shuffle strictly in line, cradle candles that dribbled hot white on their fingers, chanting Latin—just to fashion Sevilla’s Easter? Wasn’t I sad? Didn’t I use to go mucking through streambeds with the skunk cabbage raising [...]
It Doesn't Take Much Margaret Gibson On my front door stone, a dead frog. It’s stretched out long, its slender legs a mottled green, its belly cream white, a blossom of blood on the stone. How did it get here? Why did it die? It doesn’t take much to make me see how little I know about the simplest things. I’ll tell you stories, of course— that it was possibly a fisher cat, or more likely was dropped, accidentally by an owl or a startled hawk, or a heron. Or is the dead frog an ambassador sent from the wetland world? [...]
I, Too Langston Hughes I, too, sing America. I am the darker brother. They send me to eat in the kitchen When company comes, But I laugh, And eat well, And grow strong. Tomorrow, I'll be at the table When company comes. Nobody'll dare Say to me, “Eat in the kitchen,” Then. Besides, They'll see how beautiful I am And be ashamed— I, too, am America.
Door in the Mountain by Jean Valentine Never ran this hard through the valley never ate so many stars I was carrying a dead deer tied on to my neck and shoulders deer legs hanging in front of me heavy on my chest People are not wanting to let me in Door in the mountain let me in
Poems, Sunrises, and Precedents BY ED ROBERSON On sonnet form times even in the grip of trouble get no less a sunrise than sun is capable the capable beauty all we have to expect— to ask more from some incompetent laughs at the proposition we have trumped all that from such horses as we have pulling our wagon through the dust which we ourselves yoked to the lead that trust— people of the voice though we were. people who cannot figure what it is we want to say for us— if all we have is [...]
L.A. River BY JACK COOPER I like how the mallard ducklings goofy and weak waddle up the cement incline then slide into this runoff of lawn sprinklers and car washes and how the great blue heron seems to be teleported here from the Jurassic to look for extinct species of fish but mostly I like the way the little birds fly in and out of the barbed wire with only a smear of water to keep them singing.
I dwell in Possibility – (466) BY EMILY DICKINSON I dwell in Possibility – A fairer House than Prose – More numerous of Windows – Superior – for Doors – Of Chambers as the Cedars – Impregnable of eye – And for an everlasting Roof The Gambrels of the Sky – Of Visitors – the fairest – For Occupation – This – The spreading wide my narrow Hands To gather Paradise –