Ray McDaniel

The Book of the Angel

Medbh McGuckian

There’s no way to prepare you, Reader. And so the short sharp shock, via these three introductory stanzas. We will have to understand some such word as ‘today’, a luminous Word for the ‘until’ verse of the god- making, brief Messianic stir air-kissing the harmony…

The Babies

Sabrina Orah Mark

Imagine you’ve just moved into a new home. Choose a home the details of which invite isolation: your farmhouse, your walk-up in a city peopled with speakers of a tongue not your own. Now further imagine the previous residents of this space, persons about whom…

The Dark Months of May

Tom Pickard

[Incidental, but not irrelevant] #1 Great God, Flood Editions makes some fine contributions to the universe—The Dark Months of May looks good, and I will indeed judge this book by its cover (slate-blue misted into a dimmed hay—a homestead as seen through what Pickard notes…

The Cuckoo

Peter Streckfus

Admission, acquiescence, acknowledgement: I bought my copy of The Cuckoo not because of any familiarity with Peter Streckfus, but because Louise Gluck selected his manuscript for the Yale Series of Younger Poets. There. It’s out, I’ve said it. But having done, let me insist that…

Zoo Music

William D. Waltz

Sometimes I pause while reading poetry, just to thank God it isn’t prose. Bless you, prose, for your great wellsprings of unconsciousness, your ubiquity, your chambray utility. Don’t know where we’d be without you and all, but in any book of poetry—regardless of its ‘type’—I…

Word Group

Marjorie Welish

Experimentation in poetry obviously cannot be exhausted; even the least ambitious poet hopes (or at least I hope she hopes) the device she contrives works. Experimentalism as a description of poetry, however, is pretty much plumb out of use. Opponents of “Language School” poetics, those…

Music and Suicide

Jeff Clark

In the poem “Cama,” which appears early in Jeff Clark’s Music and Suicide, the poet writes the line wellings and smells embellish the bed and then immediately asks Do you hear the music in that line? Why not remove it? Why remove it? Only to…

Up to Speed: Poems

Rae Armantrout

Accidents whose prerequisite is fast movement provide a peculiar kind of fun, one that both requires and neutralizes the possibility of harm. The sheer in-betweenness of acceleration intoxicates, not least because when we are flung or thrust or dropped we savor in those moments the…

Trouble in Mind

Lucie Brock-Broido

The abuse of one’s talent: To whatever degree such a thing is possible, we judge the act harshly. Whenever I hear tell of an Artist Who Has Abused His or Her Talent, I picture one of those little Keebler elves, bent over a cauldron, manipulating…

Altazor, or A Voyage in a Parachute

Vicente HuidobroTranslated by Eliot Weinberger

Reading Vicente Huidobro’s Altazor is a jarring experience in false simultaneity: You can easily get the impression that Huidobro lives to this very day, that each of the seven cantos of the book-length poem represent the poet’s experience of the modernist impulse as it rippled…