When African literature is published in the West, it is all too often realist, in English, and in the spirit of Chinua Achebe. But romance, science fiction, fantasy, epic, experimental poetry, satire, and political allegory all find expression in Africa, …
sky’s still white,
but flocculent with cloud
blurs, calming to those
who have stopped
to witness cliffs
being scaled sidelong
by ruddy mountaineers;
the newspaper’s contract
bridge advice; absorbing diagrams
of various crashes; reacting…
The Abridged History of Rainfall, by Jay Hopler. McSweeney’s, 2016. $22, 80 pages.
Jay Hopler’s second collection, The Abridged History of Rainfall, is a complex, highly stylized investigation of loss, memory, and the nature of language. Like Hopler’s first book, Green Squall, …
and I was like Bill! I’m a fan! Come over for lunch!
and he said he’d be delighted though he was sunburned
and wearing a salmon-colored shirt which made him
self-conscious he told me in confidence
I served tuna sandwiches …
it is winter again.
that try to fool us with their heat
cannot last long,
cannot convince us
of any other season but this:
rosebuds, puckered like sweetest mouths,
the chinese talla,
letting go its autumn …
Survivor Café: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory, by Elizabeth Rosner. Counterpoint, 2017. $26, 237 pages.
Every generation bears the suffering and guilt of the one before. Poet and novelist Elizabeth Rosner explores this theme from her …
Relatively cheap, and oversweet, and yet I take one,
place it full inside my mouth.
A drone the fuck inside a beige and cuboid house
and through a loving mother’s skull
and through the soul of us.
A praline in …
The museum guide says, “This statue is from Delphi.”
and a woman in our group says, “Yes, where they make
the china,” and the guide says, “Actually, you’re thinking
of Delft, not Delphi, which is somewhat to the north—
It is dark inside the cow. Space is limited; you can crouch or curl or squat on your haunches. My favorite position is fetal: chin down on my stomach, knees drawn up in a tight ball. I sleep like that …
Forgive me. I thought I was dead,
your flag draped over my face,
dolls across my lap. I want to leave.
I want to thrash out from under
the swelling crest of the dollar
before its undertow swallows us
that was the year of sixty-page reports
in defense of the soul’s integrity of plans
cc’d to an unseen G-d called dean
that was the year of keening O with anger
O holy rage of meetings in a dusty room…