Flying Things
September 22, 2010

Now the spell has broken, the bleeding and coalescing begun, each day soft and hard, cold and warm, nurturing and distant, as the cold rain gives a ghostly aura, wet-on-wet, to everything, moth, squirrel, bee, fly, and bat providing occasional reverberations from the earth, which soon will be draped and piled into abstraction, while each snowfall— like linen unfolded, conjuring the domestic— forces us further inward into the fraught territories of self and family, instead of out into waves at the beach or furrows in the bronzing garden. Fold one thousand paper cranes on the kitchen table and t

Orange Hole
September 22, 2010

The horses were so beautiful but the people ugly. Why is that? Both seemed perfectly alive. Both seemed to want to do what was asked of them as bullets snapped hitting branches and rocks and a blast wave blew everything down. I crouched against a boulder looking for safety, returning fire, everything in dreamy slow motion, orange smoke drifting out of the misty hole, introducing the idea of beauty as a salve and of aesthetics making something difficult accessible. Alone in that box of crisscrossing lead— my ears ringing, my skin pouring sweat— I missed you.

Uphill Both Ways
August 06, 2010

The substance of Geoffrey Hill’s poetry is the God of the Miltonic and Blakean traditions. But Hill does not worship this substance as much as he does

Hilarity and Form
July 30, 2010

Ben Lerner’s hilarity shares means and effects with a Cubist painting whose shards show a whole bottle from six angles. He recombines fragments of la

The Verse Electric
July 23, 2010

Walt Whitman was the first American poet who could plausibly claim that he had made a permanent break with English verse; and he was also the first (o

Making a Soul
June 16, 2010

Relying neither on traumatic anecdote nor on ostentatious materiality of language, Henri Cole marries verbal rigor to disciplines of memory and observ

The Temptations of Art
May 04, 2010

If it is worrisome when a poet seems to lose his touch, it is great fun when he plays on our worries. This is the rhetorical hustle with which Robert