Poetry & Fiction

Poetry & Fiction

Aubade

It’s easy to pretend / that we don’t love / the world. / But then there is / your freckled skin. A poem by Patrick Phillips.

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Poetry

The Sand Dancers

“In a faded photo, they dance on shore, / two kids we were, scuffing up bursts of sand; / hands rise and fall in a rapid step-slide-spin.” – a poem by Grace Schulman
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Poetry

Joe Louis’s Fist

“My father said when Louis won, the radio static was a wave / of sound that stayed all night like the riots blocks away in Harlem, / as the scent of lilac and gin wafted down Broadway to his window.” A poem by Peter Balakian.

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Poetry

The Legend of How the Tao Te Ching Came Into Being on Laotse’s Journey Into Exile

“When he was seventy and fragile, / the Teacher felt compelled to seek repose, / for the Good within the land was on the wane, / and Evil gaining strength again. / So he drew on his shoe.” Jon Swan’s translation of a poem by Bertolt Brecht.

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Fiction

At the Gravesite

Had I become an academic only to disprove the myth that Jews are only interested in making money, or to confirm the stereotype that Jews are smart? Or did I honestly hope to influence the younger generation?
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Poetry

Furlough

“I love to see those tall, lean, muscular men/with their clean-shaven heads and digital” a poem by Barbara Goldberg
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Poetry

Winter Commute

Dear friend, asleep / upright in a seat / when I boarded the train / goat-stepping over / your legs outstretched / why didn’t I wake you / but instead watched / you sleep. A poem by Joshua Weiner.
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Poetry

Fall to Your Knees and Thank God for Your Eyesight

the repeated words / sometimes made me think twice before / whimpering about a bruise on my knee, / or foolishly I would say the line just when she did…
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Fiction

Misty

A teacher is not one person. A teacher is the many voices he speaks and the quicksilver changes among them: the things he says to administrators and the things he says to parents; the things he says to ninth graders and the very different things he says to juniors; the farce and praise and kowtowing and congratulation, all those necessary notes across the register of human speech. We are whatever we are saying.
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Poetry

Translation depends, not on what must be included, but on what must not be left out

You enter the country next door from under the stone / Church of the Redeemer / subway exit. No Pork Chinese Restaurant / and Mr. Chicken, flank the avenue / both strictly halal.
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Poetry

The Glittering World

“On a night with a new moon, owls/ called, back and forth, over the house.” A poem by Arthur Sze.
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Poetry

Black Coffee at Noon

“Black coffee at noon with fellow sufferers. / The bleak cups squeak in our hands. So do the chairs…” A poem by Kenneth Fields.
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Fiction

Convoy

It doesn’t matter if you’re a good soldier; we’ve seen enough burning, mangled truck frames to know that death is completely impersonal here, that these roadside bombs are nothing more than an ominous lottery.
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Poetry & Fiction

The Last Word

So she bites it, her hand, bites it because she’s read somewhere about the transporting power of pain.
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Poetry

Postmortem

Not counting what I can’t remember, / the closest I ever came to her was when I put my hand / inside the urn…
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