Online Exclusives

Emily Dickinson Undressing
In Amherst they’ve just emptied the hundred trunks 
                      found next door in the attic of her brother and sister-in-law, 
                                             trunks of clothing not catalogued yet, 
and Jane Wald, the Dickinson Homestead director, 
lets me touch them.  [...]
Two Poems
How dark it is she was 
reproducing darkness of the dream its
occult shadow spear-like lancing her side as the 
wire could be pulled back from her mouth  [...]
Five Poems
Babyclothes made of camo— 
There should be a Lysistrata in the forsythia. [...]
When the Mimes Left for Paris
road:                  fissure opening lengthwise

gypsies:             descendants of fog [...]
In the months before the lake disappeared, I began having lunch every day with my high school guidance counselor. [...]
When I was little, just a boy living in Pensacola, I used to chase gopher snakes, and I don’t remember anyone calling them their proper name, indigo snakes, no, they were just gophers, or rainbow wrigglers, or shineys, or oilers,  [...]
From My Lorenzo 3: The Tournament
the may of the states’ pax plays i accept all while the love of lucrecia belle donati rose’s flesh forges the force at last of his twenty years thrust him chlorophylllike thru a green plant [...]
The Behavior of Pidgeons
There are seven Walter Pidgeons seated in a waiting room measuring twenty-two feet by twenty-two feet. A picture window (a) takes up most of the wall opposite the door (b). [...]
The People Catalogue
She moves over a snowless sidewalk under dead winter night. Cold gasps of dryness at her neck—the front, now the back. Trees are not beautiful, as told on lips and pages, but desperate twiggy tremors, frightened from the ground. This is a good neighborhood. [...]
Three Poems
I came to, feeling broke 
about the head,
a crown of spoons in my hair.
Funny, I hadn’t thought myself 
thick enough still for all this 
eating and being eaten. [...]
On My Mother’s Death
I fit an elm, like a lens, in the sightline between myself
and my mother’s death. 

I ask a willow’s gray-hatched lineation to hold the confounding motion 
of death’s branches.  [...]
Two Poems
Or he attracts the devil he reflects, on all fours [...]
Three Poems
a door slammed the door was a way home and a way out

you saw the door as a way out and you stepped out into the world of heat [...]
From All Electrons Are (Not) Alike
A view of the sea is the beginning of the journey. An image of Columbus, starting out from the abyss, enters the left hemisphere. Profusion of languages out of the blue. Bluster, blur, blubber. [...]
Four Poems
BETWEEN myself and a lover of Spenser, there is a chasm for which no bridge
Is long enough or strong enough to withstand the blasting winds. [...]
May I Not Seem to Have Lived
1. I star the star. 
2. I contemplate infinity. 
3. I am a star, staring at myself. 
4. I can’t stop staring.  [...]
Six Poems
by Hai Zi
translated by Ye Chun
Woman of June gathers water, gathers moonlight
Woman of July sells cotton
Woman under the August tree
washes her ears [...]
Five Poems
The two remained anonymous to wind 
& eternal without bells the vacant
monastery on an edge of sea [...]
Three Poems
In the Bay of Biscay 
Deep into the sea 
Lives Obadiah
The giant Nautilus. [...]
The East
I was talking with a friend about real estate. We’d just finished volleyball practice and we were feeling robust. [...]
Show of Affection
Chopping noises. Then—a scream. [...]
Two Poems
I do remember the mouth
as a well-worn nursery rhyme,
a dusty adding machine. [...]
Two Poems
Now that there is nothing left, for instance,
the taste of fear dries the upper lip.  [...]
The Western Rim
In 1493 in Medellín Hernán Cortés murdered his infant brother, after it was prophesied that the young Ferdinand would grow to be stronger and more clever and able in every way than his older sibling. [...]
Three Poems
if you wander away from the picnic the wolves
but if the picnic is peopled in sheeps’ clothes
if the wolves are not wolves but far worse, moles [...]
From Breakdown Cover
In all philosophies of consequence a small glass marble is hosted by a vast glass sphere. The enormity of the circumference of the sphere lends its curved surface a seeming flatness, the marble upon it poised and still. Stillness will never suffice for a host; the sphere begins to spin. [...]
Ideas of Space
I had lived always among the trees; and when, at last, I came out onto the Plain, my head reeled and I was sick. The uninterrupted light was, in its novelty, nearly fatal—a plague of nettles, a yellow noise, a magisterial voice deaf to all human entreaty. I mean to say that I had not, until that moment, seen the sun whole and undivided.  [...]
Deer Song
In your father’s house, you and your father and your father’s wife and their children, your sisters, Juliana and Roxie, ate venison steak and mashed potatoes—green beans, sweet carrots—bread torn from the loaf, apples baked with raisins and cinnamon: earth and air, root and animal. [...]
Mother’s Day—our last, ma petite mere, sugared battle-ax, thorny womb, my life’s obsession. [...]
Three Mysteries
People had been disappearing. First it was a little girl who got grabbed out of her house while her mother was in the kitchen cooking. Some dude just rang the bell, waited, and then grabbed her. Next it was the guy who worked at the grocery store on Main Street. [...]
Pink Pyramid
A pink pyramid rises out of the flat ground, its faux granite facing of pressed shell ablaze with reflected sun. Pyre meaning fire or light, and mids, meaning measure. [...]
The truth is no one tells me anything. And the truth is even when they tell me something, sometimes the something they tell me is a lie. [...]
Three Poems
In the middle of that slice there was an eye, a white center,
       the smoothness authentic as the skin of angels— 

Even the ridges of its skin were like being sexless, 
       Invariant, like having the same hands as the hands of your sister.  [...]
Three Poems
Morning lazy sounds
nothing much except birds
and a car maybe passes [...]
Eyes of Dogs
A soldier came walking down the road, raw from encounters with the enemy, high on release, walking down the road with no money. [...]
Urban Planning: Case Study the Fifth
It is hard to convey to you, who have never been to Ganzoneer, the comic futility that attends to any attempt to walk firmly there due to the elasticity of her streets, walls, and sidewalks, which send the newcomer flailing and sprawling. [...]
Two Stories
Julian visits. He’s the kind of person who will say, over dinner, to your wife, that he believes tattoos are ruining pornography. [...]
Souls, Seduction of
Which ones do you hate, Mercy, she asks me. I turn my head to look at her face, and she keeps her side to me so that I can see the smooth cheek—very pale, like chalk it is—and the only thing to show how strong she might mean her words is a little pulse above the ear. [...]
Two Poems
Anthropologies of dance
By the beach—
The sand, white
The longest fronds
Lean protectively in this
                         Garden of palms & flowers [...]
Two Poems
Over shimmered flats, ray and tarpon,
shimmering all silver  
                              light, titanium white [...]
Two Stories
Then everything became slippery. Suddenly I couldn’t hold my wife’s hand, couldn’t grasp the chess pieces when we played. [...]
Intending to begin at the billowing page, the flesh calls back its bulls, the divers arrange themselves, occur as gods (loa) occur: that is pliant, beds of mushrooms (pendentives), intersected light. [...]
Two Episodes from God May Be All Around
VENUS, sitting in her broken-down bedroom and trimming her last nails: 
When one rapscallion didn’t come on to me, 
I felt the years come onto me.
He was mustachioed and graceful
and, as a dream is, he was tall. [...]
Three Poems
Yet another idea of the self: 

         a multitude of fragments 

                    temporarily moving as one,

         each dissent a quick death [...]
Fantomina: A Fantasia in Verse
A young Lady of distinguished Birth, Beauty, Wit, and Spirit, happened to be in a Box one Night at the Playhouse. [...]
Perspective as in great mountains where we’re less than ants in the dunes [...]
Five Objects
You enter the room in which each item has been carefully placed, not perfectly or according to any specific aesthetic rules, but whim, one’s idiosyncratic sense that a certain item belongs here or exactly there, next to the other. [...]
The Assembly
There came a point when I had firmly instituted myself in The Assembly, had inserted myself in The Society, had rightly secured my position in The Outfit whose subject matter and topical goings-on are totally irrelevant and extraneous to the material being processed here, [...]
Same Life / Different One
There is a man and there is a woman. There is a house with high ceilings, painted white. There are photographs here, all hanging and framed, all shrouded in shadow. [...]
In the fall of 1936 Grazia Cosima Deledda wrote: When I was a young woman I left Sardinia for Rome, where I have lived ever since and where I sit now and write this, having not returned to Sardinia in many years. [...]
High Latency: Faith as a Necker Cube and the Erotics of Lag
Both my grandfather and my uncle have had careers as professional drummers, and my father and I are compulsive tappers, our fingers fidgeting endlessly on every available surface—a dashboard, a tabletop, a thigh. [...]
The Potato Messiah: A Love Song
that certain peoples in those isles had heads filled with raw potato instead of brains, and this did not prevent them going on to achieve competitive salaries. [...]
Toward the Surface
by David Huerta
translated by Mark Schafer
The surface is dark. From every shadow that encircles and surrounds it with the pressure of black dahlias against green windowpanes, palates emerge to taste the light of the world.  [...]
Three Poems
Extinct women and men are falling
            through the wires. [...]



In Print

Vol. 82
Works & Days
Spring 2024
Bradford Morrow


July 17, 2024
There is the man on the moon. Go to him. Get bread from him, drink his water. Take your dog, Blue to him. Take your mother. She is skiing outside around the house. Stop her, tell her that Blue is going also. Take the gander, Henry. He is short in the legs. Leave me Iris. I have seen her eat feed in a pattern.
July 10, 2024
Marcie decided on Vertigo because she’d recently encountered several texts in quick succession that made extensive reference to it: Chris Marker’s time travel film told in still images, La Jetée, Terry Gilliam’s unlikely Hollywood adaptation, 12 Monkeys, and a story by Bennett Sims called “White Dialogues” about an embittered academic seething in an auditorium during a lecture being given by the hot new thing in Hitchcock studies. The coincidence made her feel involved with the film, and vice versa, in a way that evades more specific description.
July 3, 2024
We slapped together two clods of oak around a broken bedpan lid and twined them together with a horsetail. Realized then our discovery: the first knife ever. We go to Tony’s. Tony indicates our find—What is that shit?—and he slides us each a prairie fire: whisky, tabasco. Crab says, Maybe lean forward, Tony, and Tony, doing so, discovers the knife sinking in buttery smooth, right between his ribs.