Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Jason Bache
Multiple Authors
September 20th, 2013 | 8:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Jason Bache

This month we are featuring eight new poems by four The Common contributors:

Ishion Hutchinson:

            --The Two Boundaries of Night

            --Leaf Bed

 

Photo by the author
September 18th, 2013 | 8:00am

The first time I visited Copenhagen I decided to quit my job. I had spent five years working nearly 60 hours per week as an editor, I never took vacation, I was struggling with finances, and I was deeply unhappy. My parents, who were closing in on retirement, had been to Ireland not long before and the travel bug for Europe had struck. Now they chose Denmark. To my good fortune, they treated their three adult children to this August trip.


Image credit: 1887 map of Chatham. Plate 11 from the Atlas of Morris County New Jersey New York: B. Robinson Publisher.
September 17th, 2013 | 8:00am

 

For a gardener, geology is destiny.  My little bit of earth is in a town surrounded on three sides by water. Chatham, New Jersey, sits at an elbow of the Passaic River that forms its northern and eastern boundaries. To the south, the so-called Great Swamp soaks vast acreage. Yet for all of its perimeter liquid, the town is built on rock.

 

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Chris Phan
September 16th, 2013 | 8:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user Chris Phan

The first sound is the gong

Of a dumpster, kicked possibly

By one of the homeless twins

Who live at The Mission, followed

By the rattle of glass and aluminum—

Signs of early success—against the cages

Of their grocery carts filled with cans, bottles,

Anything stamped with 5¢ deposit

Next to our state’s abbreviation.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user adamphillips123
September 11th, 2013 | 8:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user adamphillips123

My friend K. and I traveled to St. Petersburg on the overnight train from Moscow, where I lived then. She had come from New York to visit me. It was December, 1997, and the cold was brutal, but you have to see the Hermitage, I said. So we took the train north and then, at dawn, made our way to the international youth hostel. It was the first one in Russia—opened in 1992—and like every hostel I’d visited, it was full of backpackers eager to tell us how much of the world they had seen. No one’s hostile in a hostel, I said to K.