Photo by Geoff Bendeck
March 27th, 2013 | 8:00am

The police commander of Quinindé showed up dead in the province of Manabí yesterday, pounds of cocaine and money littering his car. He died, slumped over the steering wheel, his body blistered with bullets. There is the menace of drugs, poverty, and gangs that looms over this city where the two rivers meet. Lately, anonymous flyers have appeared threatening vigilante justice—threatening to take back the town. “We know who you are thieves, murders, gang members,” it says. “And we will bring you a taste of your own poison.”

March 26th, 2013 | 8:00am

Today, I am setting boots to snow.  In my hands I hold a pair of shiny new binoculars.  They’re my first new pair since the very first I bought, at age 12, with my $100 of babysitting money.  For twenty years I carried those, and the trusty little things never failed me. These new ones cost a little more, yet even with their bright lenses, I'm thwarted by a golden-crowned kinglet. The tiny bird nips from one branch to the next, too quick to view for more than an instant as it seeks some minuscule source of nourishment among the needles.

reviewed by Drew Calvert
March 25th, 2013 | 8:00am

Dean Young is one of America’s most celebrated poets, the author of ten poetry collections, recipient of numerous national awards, and a fixture of campus bookstores. His poems are tremendously fun to read, and often very funny; for me, his work is distinct in the way it channels the spirit of a stand-up comic. He nests his liberal politics inside a vortex of anxiety; disguises insights as farce; and codes earnest messages in irreverence and transgression. In his latest collection, Bender: New and Selected Poems, this spirit is even more pronounced: His new poems explore the same general territory with a darker, subtler confidence.  Young gives the impression that the blank page inspires him the way an unpredictable audience inspires a comic:

Photo by Jeremy Reding, from Flickr Creative Commons
March 22nd, 2013 | 8:00am

This month’s poetry feature showcases work from new books by our contributors.

Photo by Jeremy Reding, from Flickr Creative Commons

Curtis Bauer: “Two Poems” from The Real Cause for Your Absence

Jane Satterfield: “On Valentine’s Day I Pick Up My Wedding Dress” from Her Familiars

Norman Lock: “Ten More Impossible Objects” from Impossible Objects

Cliff Forshaw: “Loop” from Vandemonian

Catherine Staples: “Two Poems” from The Rattling Window

March 20th, 2013 | 8:00am

Usually 4 p.m. glares on my windshield as I head to the Hollywood Hills Forest Lawn Memorial Park. I am 75 miles per hour on the 134, maybe more. Others fly by me, impatient. The temptation to catch up to them is strong, as always. But I stay below the eighties, as though the seventies are the right glide, on Lenny Kravitz tunes. At the exit, flower vendors on foot wave roses and chrysanthemums. Their nearest competition is the flower shop at the gate, less than a mile away. You’d think they’d sell for bargain. But I buy a bunch or two anyway. It beats walking to the shop, and ringing for someone to come out when you’re ready to pay.