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Glossolalia

By Natasha Oladokun Poetry

The Piano, Jane Campion (1993) May it be as it was in our rhapsodies. Tethered to you, oneiric assemblage of sea salt ivory: you playing me as I imagine the gods have, cavorting on their mountain of stone. Forgive me. This our default condition: each of us versions of the other’s own making. Call me…

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Dark Talent

By Natasha Oladokun Poetry

      The Piano, Jane Campion (1993) This, the ocean’s rustled babble— was it the first sound the first woman heard as she was cut out of another body’s desire, wet and sand-soaked as a shell pried out from the shore? How could it not have been thus— like now with you, expected one, shuttered in,…

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Tempest

By Scott Cairns Poetry

Paul Mazursky, director (1982) Kalibanos welcomes you to his comfy cave, and if the Sony Trinitron proves defective so too does the illusion that you had slipped free from the world and its ubiquitous corruptions, that you could simply say you would no longer play the soul-eroding role of mute, complicit slave. Many frames will…

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Sweet Life

By Scott Cairns Poetry

La Dolce Vita, Federico Fellini (1960) In a frame or two, Marcello will turn away, finally having failed to hear her voice, the angelic girl beckoning from across the estuary’s rift in the beach, etching in the sand the divide between his world and her world. Behind him, in that flat expanse to which he…

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Graveyard Prayer

By Robert Cording Poetry

Lord, here I am again at the graveyard where I’ll be buried, but for now where I rest before walking back home. I like to lie with my back on the grass and study the clouds, a Constable imposter, or sit on my gravesite and look at this little village— the cemetery, seven old houses…

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Morning Prayer with Hopkins’ Kestrel

By Robert Cording Poetry

It is required you do awake your faith, Paulina says to Leontes, and these crows, spurting from the night’s silence into the gray before dawn’s rose, yell it in through my open window. I am slow to cooperate. O Lord, I owe you at least the modest diligence of looking carefully each day; so let…

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Spring Begetting

By Robert Cording Poetry

My one-year-old grandson John has climbed up on the couch where I have been reading Updike, and, standing, looks out the window to the lilacs where a catbird spills itself in long bursts of toowees, cluks, whooits and meows and now he, too, finds his way to runs of throaty vowels and a comedic tumble…

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Name and Kind

By John F. Deane Poetry

Jesus—Joseph’s son. They would ask— Where is your home place? Your village? Your town-land? At the ends of the earth, the far yonder. And what, they would ask, do you do? Craftsman-laborer, poet-vagabond, carouser in the courts of God. Island. Jesus-of-grace, I, too, am island, from an island off an island, out by the edge…

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Kestrel

By John F. Deane Poetry

Vigilante couchant on a pillow of air at hover in the Hopkins-eye; excess of fire, self-contained, prone to set the heather steppes ablaze: Rufus Raptor, of the falcon family, master of the chimney-stack, mistress of the house-sparrows flustering beneath in the gutter-dust; Prospero of the island, of moorland and coast, upland and down, power-bolt out…

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Relic

By Matthew Thorburn Poetry

  Weird magic, it seems now, a spell to believe in the candles crossed like swords across your neck for the feast of Saint Blaise— God preserve you, the priest intoned again and again. We stood in line, the whole school, as the white tapers were pressed against each neck to ward off sore throats,…

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