Month: December 2018

125: Assembly by Christian Wiman


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It may be Lord our voice is suited now only for irony, onslaught, and the minor hierarchies of rage.   It may be that only the crudest, cruelest transformations touch us, gauzewalkers in the hallways of a burn ward.   I remember a blind man miraculous for the sounds of his mouth, every bird rehearsed

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124: Bully by Eric Olsen


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My high school bully committed suicide. I felt relief before I felt guilty. His ghost still bullying me.   Wish I could go back and do something Say something   But even with hindsight I still don’t know what I would say   And part of me doesn’t want to save him anyway.    

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123: Old Country Portraits by Richard Robbins


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My lost sister used to try the trick with the tablecloth, waiting until the wine had been poured, the gravy boat filled, before snapping the linen her way   smug as a matador, staring down silver and crystal that would dare move, paying no mind to the ancestor gloom gliding across the wallpaper like clouds

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122: Bakery of Lies by Judith Askew


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My favorite is the cream puff lie, the kind inflated with hot air, expanded to make an heroic-sized story.   Another is the cannoli, a long lie, well-packed with nutty details, lightly wrapped in flakey truth.   A macaroon isn’t a little white lie, but it’s covered with self-serving coconut.   The apple tart carries slices of

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121: A Violence by Nicole Sealey


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You hear the high-pitched yowls of strays fighting for scraps tossed from a kitchen window. They sound like children you might have had. Had you wanted children. Had you a maternal bone, you would wrench it from your belly and fling it from your fire escape. As if it were the stubborn shard now lodged

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120: On the Death of Winston Churchill by David Ignatow


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Now should great men die in turn one by one to keep the mind solemn and ordained, the living attend in dark clothes and with tender weariness and crowds at television sets and newsstands wait as each man’s death sustains a peace. The great gone, the people one by one offer to die.   This

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119: Genesis by Mary Ruefle


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Oh, I said, this is going to be. And it was. Oh, I said, this will never happen. But it did. And a purple fog descended upon the land. The roots of trees curled up. The world was divided into two countries. Every photograph taken in the first was of people. Every photograph taken in

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118: Addendum by Alfred Nicol


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Give to Caesar what is his, namely, everything there is. I see a lot of eyebrows raised. Let’s check the books. You’ll be amazed. An x. An o. A hug and kiss. Render unto Caesar this. Render unto Caesar that. His the dog, his the cat. Render up your reading time. Render, too, your reverie.

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117: January 18, 1979 by John Yau


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So often artists have painted a woman washing, or combing her hair. And nearby is a mirror. And there you were, crouched in the tub. It was cold in the apartment. It is always cold in winter. But you were brushing out your hair and singing to yourself. And, for a moment, I think I

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116: The Sorrow of True Love by Edward Thomas


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The sorrow of true love is a great sorrow And true love parting blackens a bright morrow: Yet almost they equal joys, since their despair Is but hope blinded by its tears, and clear Above the storm the heavens wait to be seen. But greater sorrow from less love has been That can mistake lack

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