Steven Cramer

Steven Cramer

Bitter Exercise Sit up, lie down, sit up, lie down, runaround and around the blockuntil a little of myself is leftat each corner. The dogs know it and try to help,nipping at my feet to speed me up, snarling my path into wider, aching circles.The best pain's...

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Sarah Gorham

Sarah Gorham

Alice in the Rabbit's House I'll call you Alice, unborn childrumbling in my sleep, productof a distant summer's urge. Now I amstuffed to the gills, a house puffed upby someone's mischievous lips.It all happened so fast-- the closing trees,the shrinking sky, the wrong...

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Mark Irwin

Mark Irwin

The Invention of the Snowman Somewhere beyond the bounds of sleepmy bones undressed, rising from their fleshto become this selfless, falling dust. It was then I wanted earswith which to hear the familiar criesof those children building me. And of course I had no...

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Gary Soto

Gary Soto

Occasionally Making Sense When I was twenty, in college and living on a street that was a row of broken apartment buildings, my brother and I returned to our apartment from a game of racquetball to sit in the living room and argue whether we should buy a quart of...

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Karen Brennan

Karen Brennan

Building a House Here are the plans taped to the side of the old house, taped to the wall which will be the last to go. I have a hatchet for chopping; I have a radio for entertainment. Last week they sent a man around with a questionnaire. One of the questions was:...

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David Citino

David Citino

Sister Mary Appassionata To The Ornithology Class Birds can be a mortal danger.If you doubt me walk around downtownunder cooing skyscrapers, brooding statuesand look up. Gulls and crows learnfrom parents how to drop whelkson jagged rocks to shatter their...

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Rochelle Nameroff

Rochelle Nameroff

The Desire to be Personal: 1 The desire to be personal is what gets me:to walk down the street and not to vanish.O I don't know but I'll assume I'm talking to you,talking although that plugto your heart is what I'm afterbut let's take care of basics.Some food, OK, so...

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Elizabeth Knight

Elizabeth Knight

The Drowning Man The manchild wrapped in my armscould be a woman I'm not in love with. Even in these half-hearted obsessionsI get carried away, I can't concentrate. I come down on the open mouthand for a moment the rain comes downoutside a dark roomfar, far away. But...

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Pamela Stewart

Pamela Stewart

Nightblind When the train's headlight veersto kill my right eye, I panicand the road goes black.There are no white-line boundariesas the radio croons "I can'tstop lovin' you," so I askeach truck that passes to rescue meback on course. Aiming for their small red...

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Michael Burkard

Michael Burkard

Black Wing  To have each understanding of the river represented By starry night, the thing by itself.  To have a time when the black glasses sit so silently in the midnight sun the mind may as   well turn away from them as well to them. To have the absolute question...

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