September 05, 2017

A poem from the Fall 2017 issue.

As a boy I pleaded 
with the river to teach me 
its long and winding vowels. 
In exchange I taught it 
swear words, how to play games.
March 13, 2018

An introduction to a previously unpublished James Dickey essay, from the 100th issue. 

In “The Kingdom of the Other,” an essay adapted from a manuscript titled “Under the Social Surface,” written in the 1950s, Dickey says that our written words, meaning our take on everything from abstractions to the glint of a new pocketknife’s blade, are formed from our memories, those shape-shifting resources that turn into people and forests, train stations and the ruminations of characters. (I was very young—twenty-one—when I took Dickey’s class, and I needed to hear that something inside me could be fascinating to a reader.)

September 04, 2018

A poem from the Fall 2018 issue.

None of this surprises you now, 
does it? I’m not sure I can know that, 
I responded to myself. 
Or I think I did. 
I should have. 

A friend told me to embrace 
my disorientation here, to attend 
to it and dwell in that state, make it 
a daily practice, like walking, 
like drinking coffee. 

September 24, 2014

A poem from the summer 2014 issue.

When the sky threw down hail, I knew
        our world was sudden, changing. In the violence of rains
                we ran, I held my daughter with her water-soaked braids.
She covered her ears and counted
        one Mississippi, two Mississippi
                the space between lightning and thunder.

October 29, 2014

Two poems from the fall 2014 issue.

You used to bite your lips lying there on my couch
receiving my massages 
after long chemistry tutorials 
we were classmates and being-touched 
was how you touched me back

April 30, 2015

A poem from our spring 2015 issue.

It’s Derby Day. And it’s been 30 years since 1984 when I stood in the grandstand at Churchill Downs after betting my last $20 on Swale that horse I groomed and watched as he pulled away from Wayne Lukas’s great filly Althea to win the 110th running of the race. Thirty years and a lot of souls have risen to the upper register of life and my own life has been made more reachable by what their love did to me.
April 07, 2016
A poem from the Spring 2016 issue, inspired by Richard Leo Johnson’s photographs.

The carpets, the paneling, the overstuffed recliner. Chainsaw carving
on the TV, kerosene lantern for thunderstorms, girl

lying on the carpet in her shorts, Converses, ankle socks. TV remote
within reach. Stained glass figures in the panes.
July 19, 2016

Poetry from the Summer 2016 issue. 

We are at the edge of the madness,
sitting and swelling warm under the skin.
So you think that shuffling and press
of bodies against the fence will end?
September 05, 2017

A poem from the Fall 2017 issue.

I have tried to carry a persimmon home,
to share one fruit. I passed the tree running, 

a pursuit which allows no pockets, no bags.
Needs no equipment. No team.

September 04, 2018

A poem from the Fall 2018 issue.

Heading east on Route 6, 
A young couple scutters by 
On a motorbike. Harley, I think. 
On their way to the beach. I can 
See his feet are bare, resting inches 
From the muffler’s burning heat—oh 
The recklessness of young men 
That makes them so exciting 
To fuck, and sends them off 
To war, whistling and marching.