Poetry

Lesson for Cortney

By CORTNEY LAMAR CHARLESTON

after Lewis Holt

Those are traffic lights. They help stop people from
driving into each other. That’s a crescent moon and star
on top of that building. It means the people inside are part
of The Nation. That’s a gas station. That’s a McDonald’s.
That’s a Burger King. That’s a fried fish and chicken joint.

Sunna JuhnLesson for Cortney
Read more...

June 2017 Poetry Feature

Over the past year Vievee Francis has received well-deserved recognition for her latest collection, Forest Primeval, which won both the 2016 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the 2017 Kingsley Tufts Award. Her previous book, Horse in the Dark, won the Cave Canem Northwestern University Poetry Prize for a second collection, and her first, Blue-Tail Fly, preceded a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. Since the publication of Forest Primeval, Francis has been working on a fourth collection, and at The Common we’ve had the honor and the pleasure of presenting some of her new poems: “On Leaving the Mountains and Coming to the City I Thought I Left For Good” and “The Beauty of Boys Is” appear in Issue 13, Spring 2017, and “This Morning I Miss Such Devotion” is forthcoming in Issue 14, Fall 2017. Here is “’Moan Soft Like You Wanted Somebody Terrible,’” our Poetry Feature for the month of June.

Isabel MeyersJune 2017 Poetry Feature
Read more...

May 2017 Poetry Feature

This May, we’re celebrating spring with new work by three of our contributors.

 

STEVE BARBARO

Flavored Graffito

                                                                                      Agrigento, Sicily

             Piz-stack-eee-oh, Graffito registers, the word flooding his noggin

                   like the weed-choked shrubs crowding what should-be-a-more-

         pregnant vacuity surrounding what little remains of Demeter’s

Julia PikeMay 2017 Poetry Feature
Read more...

Two Poems in the Courtly Manner

By DAVID LEHMAN

1.

Gather ye rosebuds come what may,

Old time’s a frequent flyer,

And many lovers that link today

May soon be forced to retire.

 

Let each of us have one, each of us be one

Soul unlinking from its mate in the past

To eat the golden apples of the sun.

Youth fondly supposes it will last.

Sunna JuhnTwo Poems in the Courtly Manner
Read more...

April 2017 Poetry Feature

At The Common, we’re celebrating Poetry Month with new work by five of our contributors.

JAMES HOCH

Fayum Portrait [Deal]

I’ve sent a map on wax paper–
What he loves arrayed as clumsy petals.
If it arrives,
someone will ink it in his back,
so it will go with him
like a paw stuffed in a casing,
boardwalk mojo to ward off the hail of RPG, AK,

FOB after FOB, Amputee Ward, TBI, Arlington.

Sarah WhelanApril 2017 Poetry Feature
Read more...

March 2017 Poetry Feature

At The Common we’re welcoming spring with new poetry by our contributors. (Be sure to listen to the audio link to Megan Fernandes’ “White People Always Want to Tell Me…,” read by the author.)

Sarah WhelanMarch 2017 Poetry Feature
Read more...

Motel

By ZACK STRAIT

 

There is a dark blue bible in the nightstand, a pitcher and torch

stamped on the cover in gold. I rub this symbol

with my thumb and I am comforted, knowing another

man was in this room before me, just to

place his light here.

Julia PikeMotel
Read more...