Or else swoon to death, the young poet wrote,
though these in the seminar’s steadfast room
appear to want little or none of it,
however coddlingly the professor prods.
They are the poet’s age at death, or almost,
but do not find “relatable” these words
composed by one who knew his passion hopeless—
especially the sleepless Eremite,
belonging to another world and time,
and even his fair love’s ripening breast conjures only suspect looks, withering stares,
or now and then a tolerating nod.
Of course, they must assume their own bright stars
will rise aloft some digital empyrean
Please welcome back TC contributors Elizabeth Hazen, Jonathan Moody, Daniel Tobin, and Honor Moore (whose poem “Song,” published in the first issue of The Common, was reprinted in Best American Poetry 2012). We’re also delighted to welcome Gerard Coletta, who is making his first appearance in The Common.
By DANIEL TOBIN Translated loosely from a lost Akkadian tablet
discovered among the ruins of Kush.
God of the first waters, Ea, listen,
You who parsed chaos with a net from the day:
Unfasten your knots, let the swells replenish
From subtlest channels, from the seams of flesh.
The galaxies circuit in their bright delay.
The least wind tempts me with what might have been.
By DANIEL TOBIN Despite having no lungs and unable to breathe, the second
head displays signs of independent consciousness….
The first fiction is
I’m talking to you at all,
the more amorphous
of my own Janus head, the god
alive and compassing
what has gone and what
is coming, though
which is which is
hard to say. Did I say
my own? I meant ours, my
sister twin, the comelier
By DANIEL TOBIN
It could be on a card, tucked away somewhere buried
In a drawer under tools, the keys to doors
Left long behind, folded like a phone number
Into the black book of forgotten friends—the name