Art & literatures emerging from everywhere in this planet

Texas Geisha and Other Poems, by Vladimir Nahitchevansky

in Poetry by

Texas geisha

Holy shit! I translate Ancient Greek in my sleep…
But my grandfather… I’m weak.
But my grandfather he can break a walnut
With his knuckles.

Haiku memories— speak softly when I am 60.

Meanwhile in Texas, my Uncle drives out
After a divorce into the desert and hangs himself
From a Palo Verdes.


Is what the Brujo said when they found him.

Twelve days I laid in bed like a frog, dreaming
In Greek. While my grandfather raked leaves
In the rain.

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Stems and other Poems by Martina Newberry

in Poetry by


On the window behind her,
the stems of palm trees were reflected.

She thought how they could scarcely
be called trunks. They were, in fact thick stems.

Pigeons gathered at her feet
(“rats with wings” her uncle said, “just rats”).

She had a vision of them
involving real field rats, garter snakes,

and owls. She had long since moved
beyond the reach of family, further

than all their words. She had moved
beyond her own premonitions of

what her life would be. She had
been out of sync with the flesh-colored

world of the living and now,
more familiar than she imagined,

came the quiver of knowing
and the narrowing silence beyond.

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The Sahara Desert and other Poems, by Omer Zamir

in Poetry by

The Sahara Desert

The Sahara Desert
Came between us
In our little apartment.

Once we used to forget
Our bodies in one another,
And when waking up
It often took us some moments
To recollect our separateness.

We were tigers at night,
Who hungered and thirsted
For the flesh and blood of each other.
We are each other’s scars.

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Struggling to achieve the music of not overly excited speech

in Book Reviews by

Habitation is Sam Hamill’s witness to a perverse, tumultuous and glorious world, and it ought to have been received upon its publication with respect and rejoicing for its importance to Anglophone letters.

These collected poems are Hamill’s witness to a blasting and triumphant life at which he has not blinked. Although he’s very much a poet of the American Northwest, he’s also, via his translations and experiences, a poet of the Far East. But his oeuvre doesn’t rest well in those categories. He often reminds us of the Stoics Cicero, Marcus Aurelius and Zeno, and of Catullus, the neoteric republican poet.

Hamill’s free-verse poems are testament to a slippery truth about free verse: practiced with integrity, it demands more discipline than rhymed and conventionally metered poetry. It requires improvisational meter unique to its original impulse, not impulse harnessed to preexistent form. It is poetry consumed by its first-heard music. It resembles jazz in this respect.

The poet’s choice of title is easily understood, but a strong argument could be made for Habitation as The Book of Awareness. Hamill is, above all else, the poet of awareness. The implications of this for him and his work are immense and sometimes unbearable. His witness makes him more an outlier than most poets, a man destined to look too hard and fixedly at the accommodations we make to fit in. And that is perhaps why he founded Copper Canyon Press with Tree Swensen in 1972, a press once synonymous with independence, excellence and a maverick streak.

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