Issue 09 Poetry

Dante Or, The End of Poetry

By PATRICK PRITCHETT

for Raul Zurita

And he stirred his coffee, the old poet, and spoke of
Dante, and how Homer’s journey to the underworld
wove a thread through Virgil to the selva oscura. And
that the Commedia was not the apex of Christianity, but
its finale. That the enormous architecture of the poem
was not built to house theology, but to protect man from
the absence of God, who had already departed.

Dante Or, The End of Poetry
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On Being a Vine

By RAE PARIS

for my niece, who got the part of a vine in The Secret
Garden at her predominantly White school

Your worried face wonders if you can do this. How does
a vine think? What does it feel? Do vines own hearts,
and if so do they beat fast or slow? What about souls?

On Being a Vine
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Storm

By WILL SCHUTT

I

After a shower I fill the tub with water, stick fresh candles into candlesticks and brace each heavy planter in the yard. From the rain guard gutter I rake leaves. Watching the sun press through shuttling clouds, I see there’s no such thing as reprieve without broad damage. Electricity comes and goes, yellow leaves circulate in clusters, treetops contort. The dissonance is too like the news, external hysteria masking an inward calm that moves it, a wave of pictures uploaded to iPhones, the opposite of poetry, which prepares the long confusion for its shape.

Storm
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