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From Katie Bickham:

May 31, 2019

In the new world, as the goddess dictated,
each time a man touched a woman against
her will, each time he exposed himself,
each time he whistled, dropped something
in her drink, photographed her in secret

she sprouted a wing from her spine. Not feathered,
like birds or angels, not cellular, translucent,
veined like dragonflies, but a wing
like a blade, like a sword hammered flat,
thin as paper. One wing per wrong.

The Blades

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From Amorak Huey:

May 28, 2019

He’ll teach
literature to young people
for 40 years. He’ll coach
his daughters’ softball teams.
Root for Red Wings
& Lions & Tigers. Dance
well. Love generously.
He’ll be quick with a joke
& firm with handshakes.
He’ll rarely talk
about the war. If asked
he’ll tell you instead
his favorite story:
Odysseus escaping
from the Cyclops
with a bad pun & good wine
& a sharp stick.

We Were All Odysseus in Those Days

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May 26, 2019

for those of you who are interested, my book, DIRTY WORK, is out now. i can’t really describe my own book, since it’s taken nine years to write it and get it published, somehow. it’s too odd to take a step back and assess it on my own. so let me rely on other people to explain it. here is what penguin randomhouse (very eloquently) says about it:

Warm, funny, vulnerable, and wise, Dirty Work offers a singular perspective on the age-old impulse to leave familiar surroundings behind. This memoir is for anyone who has ever felt the urge to test themselves and wondered how they’d fare and who they’d be when they come out on the other side.


also here is a picture of a borrowed cat to help convince you about the book’s greatness, if you are not swayed yet.


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also, indigo agrees with the borrowed cat:


From O-Jeremiah Agbaakin:

May 25, 2019

last night, i was an omniscient again.
the evening sky was orange like crushed carrot.
i didn’t die though my body fell off
a bridge, limping away like a serpent bruised
by the son’s gunpowder. in the dream
i carried all my dead inside the wide casket
of my wail and to leave the city now
is to find a crack in the world: which is why
i’m stuck in this poem.

The Book of Revelation with a Rare Audio Recording of Abel’s Monologue

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From Yusef Komunyakaa:

May 22, 2019

The body remembers the berry bushes

heavy with sweetness shivering in a lonely woods,
but I doubt it knows words live longer

than clay & spit of flesh, as rock-bottom love.
Is it easier to remember pleasure

or does hurt ease truest hunger?

The Body Remembers

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From Amy Lowell:

May 6, 2019

In the brown water,
Thick and silver-sheened in the sunshine,
Liquid and cool in the shade of the reeds,
A pike dozed.
Lost among the shadows of stems
He lay unnoticed.
Suddenly he flicked his tail,
And a green-and-copper brightness
Ran under the water.

The Pike

(in honour of my book launch tonight)

From Leslie Joy Ahenda:

April 20, 2019

Set the foundation on fire.
Trust the flames:
they will swallow the dust-plague off your skin
and leave you unburnt.
As the smoke spread,
look up.
You will see the same
stars the Ancestors saw.

Collect the ashes,
dye the streets burnt orange
and walk barefoot—
the streets will turn to dirt
as the Ancestors step through your feet
into the light of  dawn.

– How to Decolonize, from poetry is dead‘s issue 19: drama

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