Ray McDaniel

Ignatz

Monica Youn

Fate considered as represented by the eyebrow of Ignatz Mouse Cruel fate, kind fate, indifferent fate. Cruel can’t be right, can it? The cruel have their reasons, however selfish or misguided they may be. Kindness is a shield held in defense of those fate ill-fortunes;…

Bluets

Maggie Nelson

In German, to be blue&#8212blau sein&#8212means to be drunk. Delerium tremens used to be called the “blue devils” (Burns, 1787.) In England “the blue hour” is happy hour at the pub. Joan Mitchell&#8212abstract painter of the first order, American expatriate living on Monet’s property in…

100 Notes on Violence

Julie Carr

77. Holding Hands I’ve been trying to look through the sun at something under the sun or within the sun (here are the sunny days: 280 a year!), been trying to measure the sun – taste the sun. But I cannot break into the sun….

A Mouth in California

Graham Foust

This book performs one of my favorite miracles, a classic because it’s a repeater, a novelty that never fades: it demonstrates that the impossible (poetry) is also inevitable (poems). Though it seems as if the latter must inevitably result from the former, this isn’t quite…

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Tao Lin

The problem with quality concepts is that their enactment is redundant. If the idea swings, then the execution don’t mean a thing – in fact, sometimes the practice of a good idea actually reduces the virtue of the idea itself. Thus, my problem with so-called conceptual…

Lilies Without

Laura Kasischke

Here are a few thing for which I don’t have much patience but indulge in nevertheless: 1. Psychology 2. What passes for “the domestic” in the contemporary imagination 3. Gerunds and participles 4. The word “it” The first instance of distaste leads neatly into the…

[one love affair]*

Jenny Boully

Love is clearly a mistake. I do not mean that to elect to love is an error in judgment, but rather that love itself requires participation in an unintelligible condition, one that gains access to its own properties by declaring that those properties cannot be…

The Best American Poetry 2006

Editors David Lehman, Billy Collins

Picking on the Best American Poetry series is like shooting a fish in a barrel. Picking on the Best American Poetry series as edited by Billy Collins is like shooting a minnow in a shotglass. So despite the fact that the subsequent criticism doesn’t even…

Averno

Louise Gl

Louise Gl&#252ck: stone, or ice? Not stone, because she doesn’t shatter, nor does she retain heat. Not ice, because she doesn’t thaw, and while her poems do not radiate heat, neither do they leech it from warmer objects. A mystery. Here’s what I admire about…

Horror Vacui

Thomas Heise

The lexicon of music, wedded to ritual and occasion, cannot always accurately describe the effect of poetry, which finds its origins therein. Too bad, because what I really want to do is describe Horror Vacui as a monotonous dirge, which I cannot say without making…