EP: The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman

Mr. President, Dr. Biden, Madam Vice President, Mr. Emhoff, Americans and the world, when day comes we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never-ending shade? The loss we carry a sea we must wade. We’ve braved the belly of the beast. We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace. In the norms and…

EP: No Good Bones by Maggie Smith

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.Life is short, and I’ve shortened minein a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,a thousand deliciously ill-advised waysI’ll keep from my children. The world is at leastfifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservativeestimate, though I keep this from my children.For every bird there is a stone thrown at…

EP: Oracle of the Povo by Dambudzo Marechera

Her vision’s scrubland Of out-of-work heroes Who yesterday a country won And today poverty tasted And some to the hills hurried their thirst And others to arson and blasphemy Waving down tourists and buses Unleashing havoc no tongue can tell – Her vision’s Droughtstricken acres Of lean harried squatters And fat pompous armed overlords Touching…

EP: Occupation by Suji Kwock Kim

The soldiers are hard at work, building a house. They hammer bodies into the earth like nails, they paint the walls with blood. Inside, the doors are locked, shut like eyes of stones. And the stairs are icy, all flights go down. There is no floor, only a roof, where ash is falling- dark snow,…

Trashed

On the first page of my scroll I’m in a small provincial cityIn a frisky foreign country The apartments all darkenedMinuscule storefronts shuttered Hours before a suggested curfewIt’s always a cool and calm evening My traditional “sober” mask in onI’m walking past a trim street corner Where I admittedly shouldn’t beAlone, wavering and coatless againOut…

EP: The Herdsman

I’m herdsman of a flock. The sheep are my thoughts And my thoughts are all sensations. I think with my eyes and my ears And my hands and feet And nostrils and mouth. To think a flower is to see and smell it. To eat a fruit is to sense its savor. And that is…

Antiseptic Zirconias

A boy collected dried elks from gangling husks in Jersey kicked land moved north on purple quails randomly several tried understanding Victor who x-rayed young zigzaggers

EP: Envoi

Go, dumb-born book, Tell her that sang me once that song of Lawes: Hadst thou but song As thou hast subjects known, Then were there cause in thee that should condone Even my faults that heavy upon me lie And build her glories their longevity. Tell her that sheds Such treasure in the air, Recking…

Sandy Toes

Sand is always unsteady Never still Where will it end up Stop stirring When will the breeze tire Break free Will it escape the moon, Or clap With a sizzling audience Carrying warmth Swirl through cracked roads Remaining fluid Rubbing the darkest corners As freed grains Burring unfamiliar wisdom In the glass By Amaury Genao

EP: Suppose

suppose Life is an old man carrying flowers on his head. young death sits in a café smiling,a piece of money held between his thumb and first finger (i say “will he buy flowers” to you and “Death is young life wears velour trousers life totters,life has a beard” i say to you who are…