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Showing posts from 2010

3 poems by Matthew Stewart

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Extranjero Ten years on and perfection’s lost its distant lustre. My accent seeps away. Every few minutes I let some vowels tug me back home, back towards the cadence of who I am or was or was or am. Dad On The M25 After Midnight Even before the front door’s shut, I’m in first gear – up past Tesco, third exit from the roundabout and onto the slip road at last. I overtake a Polish truck; it wobbles as the driver shaves. Tarmac reassuringly growls. This is where the housework and kids recede, junction after junction. I could head west, then north, then east - all with a millimetric nudge of the wheel - but I hold a lane, perfecting this nightly circle. It closes back in on my name. San Fairy Ann Wit amid blood and Belgian mud, Nan invoked you daily. Your time on our tongues and in dictionaries might be running out, but I’ve passed your syllables on to my son in return fo

5 poems by Todd Swift

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Paddington Recreation Grounds Boys on their field lit like an aquarium sad to not be alight, like them, with goals that a foot or hand can win; poetry’s rules no less old than theirs, but poets are not only players on green grass, night and day, also the old-eyed others edged in the park, who nod at each leap in air, each attained yelp and elbowed throw, the muscular panoply of bodied action folded into hours with an end; slow to leave, friendless, they once stood on the line, or blew as referee, their bones now cold and all trophies pawned. So poems both play and hold, gravely, as if a mourner stood, one self under the hood of the ground, the other, above, head bowed, to pray. We stand and lie, this way, to make the words hit home. So ball and word fly untrue until a hand undoes the flight by taking it down from abstract to real motion, feeling out the meaning of its gut, impacted with the lob’s sorrow-start, the needing thrower’s heart, which is to gain the art’s accolades, not

2 poems by Michelle McGrane

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Lunar Postcards I. Moondust Two hours ago, we docked at Crater Plaskett's northern rim. Plumes of spent gunpowder eructed from the landing strip spinning into galaxies and starfields. It clings to our helmet visors, sifts into our spacesuits, fine jagged particles infiltrating hinges and joints, scratching equipment, shrouding instrument dials with an electrostatic film. II. Hadley Rille I am writing from a lava tube at Hadley Rille, near the Sea of Rains. We spent the day gathering silica-rich soil, shattered rocks, glassy fist-sized specimens sampled from the basalt crust. The Lunar Roving Vehicle has exceeded all expectations. Jack and his crew will be pleased. I look forward to your news. III. Space Gourmet We season freeze-dried macaroni with liquid salt and pepper. Water is distilled, recycled from our breath and sweat. After a week of granola bars, nuts and bitter orange juice, the Commander's arm begins to look tasty. IV. Counting Clusters At night, the lunar

4 poems from Helen Ivory's 'The Breakfast Machine'

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The Dolls House The trees that grow from the nursery walls do not rustle in the breeze of an open window. The jaws of the wardrobe do not snap shut when a crane-fly bumbles into their waiting smile. But there is a shifting of furniture in the dolls house tonight, a slow dragging of objects across candle-lit rooms. The kitchen windows steam up and the unmistakable smell of melting plastic drifts from the chimney. You will notice tomorrow your new doll is gone. You will find her blonde hair lines a mouse nest in spring. The Reckless Sleeper All night he has been inventing a vocabulary – a mythology of cities built like a circuit board; a skeletal picture of where he’d like to belong. He is wrapped in a blanket of grey paint, and sometimes an apple will roll to the surface, sometimes a mirror, or an apple in the mirror. Sometimes a lion will lift a lazy paw and pull the blanket from the other side of the bed; leaving him exposed to the dark of the room. He walks on the

3 poems by Maureen Jivani

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Open Heart I had a heart in my hands once. It shivered like an injured bird. I had to stop those fibrillations to steady that pale heart, cooled, in its cage of bone. Such an enormous task, it took all the long afternoon. But we had opera, laughter and a tunnel of light in that dungeon-cold room. And sometimes it leapt, that insensible heart, like a flying fish or one left behind when the tide goes out. Poor heart to be stranded like this, a fist of blubber, in my small hands. Going Under Here, waiters are tall and carry silver salvers: the dead on a plate, cabinet doors open and close of their own accord. Venetian crystal sparkles like a new love. The hostess grins while flaming Sambucas. Faces float masks accumulating dust. A woman breezes past wearing gold shoes and a d├ęcolletage to die for. In the mirror, an elderly man removes his gloves; one slips in silence to the floor. The grandfather clock chimes the hour. I sigh in an effort of remembrance. An upstairs

More Paris Review Interviews: Murray and Simic

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Les Murray Charles Simic

Ted Hughes Poem

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“Last Letter” by Ted Hughes What happened that night? Your final night. Double, treble exposure Over everything. Late afternoon, Friday, My last sight of you alive. Burning your letter to me, in the ashtray, With that strange smile. Had I bungled your plan? Had it surprised me sooner than you purposed? Had I rushed it back to you too promptly? One hour later—-you would have been gone Where I could not have traced you. I would have turned from your locked red door That nobody would open Still holding your letter, A thunderbolt that could not earth itself. That would have been electric shock treatment For me. Repeated over and over, all weekend, As often as I read it, or thought of it. That would have remade my brains, and my life. The treatment that you planned needed some time. I cannot imagine How I would have got through that weekend. I cannot imagine. Had you plotted it all? Your note reached me too soon—-that same day, Friday afternoon, posted in the morning. The prevalent devi

Hilary Menos

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Congratulations to Hilary Menos whose collection 'Berg' has been awarded the 2010 Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Here are 3 of Hilary's poems to wet your appetite. Berg After the Larsen breakout of ninety-five, when a mound the size of Rutland calved with a howl into the Amundsen sea, and bergy bits and growlers surrounded Cape Longing, we were on standby. Glaciologists from Colorado to London argued over fracture mechanics and bed forms. Every satellite map looked like a storm breaking. We put a watch on the ice tongue Now everything mattered; melt water ponding, the crystallography of frazil ice, the hole in the ozone layer the thermodynamics of polar-bear hair. We sandbagged East Anglia, Holland They came like brides, majestic over Barking Reach, queued to check-in at the Barrier, their tabular tops reflecting weak sun, waltzed towards Wapping and Wandsworth, cold and hooded, each one like an inmate from some asylum holding the flowered hem of her an

Paris Review Interviews

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Here are three links to fascinating Paris Review interviews with Thom Gunn , John Ashbery and Raymond Carver .

Charles Wright Poem and Interview

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Charles Wright showed up on my reading radar only four or five years ago. Since then I have sometimes wondered why I persist in reading anyone else. His publisher in the States is Farrar, and as far as I know, only Stride has published his work over here. Laudable though that is, the Stride books are of poor quality and scattered with misprints - particularly damaging to a poet like Wright who uses the line so creatively. Wouldn't it be good if Bloodaxe furthered there reputation for bringing eminent U.S. poets to these shores by publishing a nice big selected? Or is that more up Carcanet's street? Anyway, here's a short one I pulled off the net. Clear Night Clear night, thumb-top of a moon, a back-lit sky. Moon-fingers lay down their same routine On the side deck and the threshold, the white keys and the black keys. Bird hush and bird song. A cassia flower falls. I want to be bruised by God. I want to be strung up in a strong light and singled out. I want

Carl Rogers: A Theory of Therapy

A THEORY OF THERAPY, PERSONALITY, AND INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS, AS DEVELOPED IN THE CLIENT-CENTERED FRAMEWORK CARL R. ROGERS University of Wisconsin Introduction 2 The soil of the theory 2 Some basic attitudes 4 The General Structure of Our Systematic Thinking 7 Definitions of constructs 9 A digression on the case history of a construct 14 I. A Theory of Therapy and Personality Change 22 Conditions of the therapeutic process. 22 The process of therapy 25 Outcomes in personality and behavior 27 Comments on the theory of therapy 28 Specification of functional relationships 29 Some conclusions regarding the nature of the individual 29 II. A Theory of Personality 30 Postulated characteristics of the human infant 30 The development of the self 31 The need for positive regard 31 The development of the need for self-regard 32 The development of conditions of worth 32 The development of incongruence between self and experienc