June 20, 2015

And I Said to My Soul, Be Loud

by Christian Wiman

Madden me back to an afternoon
I carry in me
not like a wound
but like a will against a wound

Give me again enough man
to be the child
choosing my own annihilations

To make of this severed limb
a wand to conjure
a weapon to shatter
dark matter of the dirt daubers' nests
galaxies of glass

Whacking glints
bash-dancing on the cellar's fire
I am the sound the sun would make
if the sun could make a sound

and the gasp of rot
stabbed from the compost's lumpen living death
is me

O my life my war in a jar
I shake you and shake you
and may the best ant win

For I am come a whirlwind of wasted things
and I will ride this tantrum back to God

until my fixed self, my fluorescent self
my grief–nibbling, unbewildered, wall–to–wall self
withers in me like a salted slug

June 18, 2015


by Erez Bitton
On the threshold of half a house in the Land of Israel
my father stood
pointing to the sides and saying:
Upon these ruins
one day we will build a kitchen
to cook in it a Leviathan’s tail
and a wild bull,
upon these ruins
we will build a corner for prayer
to make room
for a bit of holiness.
My father remained on the threshold
and I, my entire life,
have been erecting scaffolding
reaching up to the sky.

June 03, 2015

Every Job Has a First Day

by Rebecca Gayle Howell

Slade was pulling minnows out of the dry river
the day we met. Puddles, more or less, was what
was left. But what could live wanted to and tried,
treading narrow circles, a glide of brittle fins.
He wore those rubber boots, though the sun was
an anvil, and very little wet; he smiled, I remember
that, his nickel smile right at me, his fingers
letting fall the small fish muscles into a bag filled
with yellow tap. I didn’t ask his name, or what
it was he thought he was doing, but we talked,
I listened as he taught me to relax the hand just enough.
They can smell, he said, the oils our pores release
when we tense to catch. You have to believe it,
he said. You don’t mean any harm.