…needs the world to be a little dirty
and dark, below the surface, steeped
in cheap vodka, breath reeking, voice
slurring names over a broken intercom
that garbles human speech, reducing to hum
places you could go but don’t.
You can read the rest of my ode to the underground, “Subway Theory,” in the latest issue of Crazyhorse, along with my poem “Memory My Leaf.” Thanks so much to editor Emily Rosko—whose own poetry I admire so much—for including my work in the issue.
I’m absolutely thrilled to have my poem “The Invention of the Interstate System” in the January issue of Poetry magazine. It’s a dream come true! And check out their new design, including a fold-out page featuring the work of none other than Jorie Graham, along with full-color reproductions of several pages from Frank O’Hara’s notebooks and poems by James Tate, Khaled Mattawa, Carl Phillips, Reginald Gibbons, Ken Chen, Claudine Toutoungi, and others. I’m particularly smitten with Willie Perdomo’s poem “That’s My Heart Right There.”
One last publication to usher in the new year! The latest issue of the wonderful online journal Memorious includes two sonnets that I wrote about different experiences of miscarriage. After I went through one myself, I was stunned by how many women came forward to tell me their stories. There’s so much silence and shame around what I learned is a very common aspect of women’s lives. And the brevity of the form, what Rossetti famously called “a moment’s monument,” felt right for the fleeting yet profound way the experience marks us. In the issue you’ll also find stellar work by Jericho Brown, Gail Mazur, and Sean Singer, among others.
The Brooklyn Rail recently published an ample selection of translations from my most recent project, the Selected Poems of Krystyna Dąbrowska, for which I’m eternally grateful to editors Jennifer Zoble and Donald Breckenridge. I love that they’ve envisioned InTranslation, the web exclusive feature of the magazine, as “a venue for outstanding work in translation and a resource for translators, authors, editors, and publishers seeking to collaborate.” In a publishing world where only three percent of books brought out each year is work in translation, such a resource is incredibly vital to connect those of us working to transcend our xenophobic moment.
So happy to have a new poem in Gulf Coast! And how fitting that a poem about memory loss brings me back to my alma mater.
Two Lines Press Senior Editor Emily Wolahan and I had a great conversation about form, meter, and the freedom that comes through constraint in the translation of poetry. The interview is up at the Center for the Art of Translation.
I have another new sonnet, “Assist,” in the latest issue of Prairie Schooner—adorned with this great artwork on the cover! Glad to be in the same pages as Valzhyna Mort, Jacque Rancourt, Bruce Bond, and so many other great friends and poets. As someone who transverses between different languages, I love in particular these words from Mort’s poem “Ode to Branca” that appears in the issue: “There’s a hallway between languages where my lips are stacked / on top of each other like logs of a forest cabin. // There’s a bowl of forgotten language filled with a single word… / Here’s a poem in which my lip-logs need to shut [the horizon chain].” I am indebted and in awe of the wonderful poet and editor-in-chief, Kwame Dawes, for putting the whole thing together.
People Bring Us Flowers
too many white flowers, as if the soul requires
a veil of pure substance it never had the need to form
in life, or we must have the underbelly of so many briars
to hide like tiny aphids within the thorny swarm
of grief when it comes…
You can read the rest of the poem in the latest issue of the Birmingham Poetry Review. Thanks to the editors for including it in such great company.
Arts reporter Rebecca Rose interviewed me recently in advance of a reading I gave in Orcutt this past week. You can check out the profile that she wrote at the New Times. Thanks so much to Michael Mclaughlin, the CORE Winery, and fellow poet Jim Cushing for a great event.
Big thanks to poetry editor Don Bogen for publishing my sonnet “Tenor” in the latest issue of The Cincinnati Review. I’m delighted to have my work included.