At an artists’ collective near the Polish border about an hour from Berlin, I’d been taking a break from translating texts into English, a task I once enjoyed but was beginning to resent, as I was beginning to feel invisible—or was it burnt out?—in any case, I was glad to get away for a few days: it was my first vacation since I-don’t-know-when, and I’d begun to feel my soul was spent. Over lunch on my last day there, a woman from Seoul who went by the nickname Hae—a transliteration of the word “sun” in Korean, she said—asked what the word in German was for “soul.” Actually, the woman sitting next to her asked, but the woman sitting next to Hae came from Spain and was shy about her English, so when she directed the question at me I heard the word as “sol”—we’d spent the week speaking both Spanish and English—and said, in reply, “Sonne.”
All posts tagged: Poetry Recording
By DIANE THIEL
(after a line by Edith Södergran)
On foot, I had to cross the galaxy.
I left without luggage or gear, knowing
nothing I had would be of use out there.
To My IUD
I’m halfway home to Bed-Stuy
when I feel the cervical cramp.
I was told they’d be getting worse
January 2022 Poetry Feature: Austin Segrest
Poems by AUSTIN SEGREST, from The Groom.
Table of Contents:
• The Groom
• After Caravaggio
Emerging from her cocoon without a mouth,
the luna moth climbs onto a stem to unfurl
and dry her wings. She’ll find a mate tonight.
There will be no kiss. There will be no taste.
There will be no speech or song. After midnight
the still, silent couple will join like drops of rain.
“You were only waiting for this moment to be free.”
As a Bronx kid at a homeless shelter, he watched
a peregrine falcon devour a pigeon on the windowsill,
and what began in violence leapt to awe,
and awe begat beauty.
Cento for Surrender
Nostalgia is a well-
you have to hold
it in mind all at once—
you have to need it
enough. I’ve been
The Good Donkey
I am not pleased. Paint is dripping down my hoof and the colors are muddled together. I shouldn’t complain. I agreed to it, of course.
Hafiz is putting together a zoo. And he asked me to be the zebra.
“You’re a very good donkey, habibi,” he told me three days ago, “but the border is closed, and everyone says prices for using the smuggling tunnels have gone up. I can’t afford the zebra in Damascus, and the one in Cairo is twice that price.” He gestured wildly, scattering my oats. What a waste.
I don’t know much about borders, but I would do anything for Hafiz. He is more than a father to me.
or, sonnet of cheating with a friend’s man
Something about the hinge
of your hips, the way you held them straight
when you danced. You pushed my palm to fringe:
the pelt of your belly, then sought the gate
The Mermaids’ Cry
By LEONARDO TONUS
Translated by CAROLYNE WRIGHT
they say that the most impressive of all crossings
is not thirst
or the fear
no longer wounds
what does not exist
bodies in a boat