Poetry

Only the Surface Breaks

By CALLY CONAN-DAVIES

 

Breaching beyond
the break wall, opening
the open sea like a long polished wound,
baffling the wind
with a force mustered from currents
where free is
two things—
unfathomable as the drowned book,
barnacled as if born and raised
between Aphrodite and the devil’s thumb

a whale heaves out a whale-tail
flaunting sunken love at the sunned earth

Whitney BrunoOnly the Surface Breaks
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Homiletic

By VIRGINIA KONCHAN

Nothing is analogous to God.
In order to strike, a cobra also needs
to recoil. When it comes to vice
and juridical proceedings, I abstain.
All good things, and strokes of bad luck,
happen in threes, and so let it be this way
with us: from lust, to neutrality, to disgust.

Isabel MeyersHomiletic
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The Aladdin Hotel, Woodbourne, NY

By ERICA EHRENBERG

The swimming pool is empty—another one is full but cracked and there are leaves floating in it. I’m sitting with my grandfather. He’s blind and our point of contact is a limit bolts of recognition pass through.

He saw me once in a pool under the water so he sees this in his mind often when he’s near me. He tells me about swimming across a river. Where is this river? I see branches with blue-black berries on them sinking into the water, each berry so loaded with his memory and my imagination they burst with their own reality.

Griffin LessellThe Aladdin Hotel, Woodbourne, NY
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Catherine the Great

By BENJAMIN S. GROSSBERG

We’re all undone by appetite; but which,
at least at first, is up to us. He pressed
himself against me in a parking lot.
We’d just finished our coffee and small talk.
A Sunday afternoon: cars pulling out
around us, and him salacious in my ear—
Catherine the Great. I didn’t move. He ground
himself on me, cars swerving around the one
body we’d become. I couldn’t move.

Avery FarmerCatherine the Great
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Poetry and Democracy: Part Four

In conjunction with The Poetry Coalition’s March 2019 joint programming exploring the theme “What Is It, Then, Between Us?: Poetry & Democracy,” The Common presents four weekly features this month, each addressing and extending this national—and international—conversation.

In this, our fourth installment, we offer Ron Welburn’s “Seeing in the Dark” and “Alternate Charles Ramsey” by Reginald Dwayne Betts.

Debbie WenPoetry and Democracy: Part Four
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