Ray McDaniel

Steal Away

C.D. Wright

C. D. Wright once declared the stripe of her ambitions, peeled the bark from the limb: In her “Our Dust,” from 1991’s String Light she “agreed to be the poet one life, / one death alone”; in so saying Wright made it seem as if…

Columbarium

Susan Stewart

* Dear Bill Bailey, Dear Jimmy Dean: I think we need to talk about our relationship. I think it’s time we all admit the truth: whether ya’ll are coming or going, you’re still there. “Yesterday upon the stair I saw a man who wasn’t there…

A Handmade Museum

Brenda Coultas

I had a hell of a good time with A Handmade Museum, in which Brenda Coultas commits the fairly uncommon trick of going to both country and town. And even though landscapes rural and urban enjoy equal attention here, the collection altogether has the feeling…

Barter

Monica Youn

Clarity: that superlative quality, everywhere referenced, nowhere understood. There is a special pod of Hell reserved for those who evaluate poetry on the basis of its presumed clarity (or lack thereof): woe, woe, woe betide those who neglect Monica Youn’s excellent Barter in favor of…

Dread

Ai

Here’s a discouraging thought experiment as brought to you by the Homeland Office of Ontological Terror: Consider the possibility that the quality of any random poetry sample is determined exclusively by its location on the asymptotic curve of the reader’s familiarity with poetry altogether. This…

Krypton Nights

Bryan Dietrich

If it is true that no great and enduring volume can be written on the flea, it is equally true that the function the flea cannot be made to occupy will be well served by ever-more great and enduring volumes. Recourse to material (sometimes transubstantiated…

Deposition

Katie Ford

The divine: what a dilemma. Substantial credit is due to Katie Ford for her efforts to contend simultaneously with both the more gnostic aspects of her chosen Christian sets of reference, as well as their theologies and the affinities and constraints those theologies suggest. To…