(Fall 2014)
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Seamus Heaney: A Symposium

Lloyd Schwartz
Seamus Heaney: Artful Voyeur
Gail Mazur
Fluent at Their Task
Richard K. Kent
Writing the World and One's Place in It
Marianne Boruch
Saint Kevin, Saint Blackbird
Carl Phillips
On Heaney's "Postscript"
DeSales Harrison
Horizon Keep


D. Nurkse

The Commands
The Bowl

Andrew Juarez
John Gallaher
Why It's Important We Not Talk Too Much About How Long Ago the Past Was
Fay Dillof
Bath Song
Middle Age
Jean-Paul de Dadelsen
translated by Marilyn Hacker
Alsatian Suite
Women of the Plain: IV
Christopher Howell
Author, Author
Nancy Eimers
Man on a Stoop
Greek Girl with Doves
Mario Chard
The Fall
Andrew Nurkin
Beauty for Beginners (i)
Beauty for Beginners (ii)
Diane K. Martin
Muse Rebellion
Sarah Maclay
Night Text
Nance van Winckel

I Had My Reasons

Judita Vaiciunaite
translated by Rimas Uzgiris
Alpay Ulku
Building It
Martha Zweig
Bill & Coo
Elisabeth Murawski
Chicago Morning
Merrily, Merrily
Ales Debeljak
translated by Brian Henry
At Home
Festival Hall
BJ Soloy
The Middle Distance
Philip Metres
The Bubble
Mark Conway
in a state
in the aftermath
Kuno Raeber
translated by Stuart Friebert
Mary Jo Thompson
Currently Showing
Laurie Blauner
Medical Marvel
Gerald Majer
Luisa Casati, Fountain Dress (1921)




The child taught the dog stay
by staying herself, in the dark garden,
and the dog imitated her.

The child taught the dog fetch
by pushing a twig with her nose.

She taught the dog come
by appearing out of the pines
(there were only two pines
and she had to bribe the dog
with a biscuit not to follow her).

She taught the dog heel.
Always there had been a gap
like a missing tooth, just out of reach,
and now apparently it was the dog
with his ropy ears, quirky itches,
and faintly hopeless grin.

She taught adore me and don't die.
The dog listened, head cocked,
but his square nose swiveled
to watch a firefly stitching
in and out of leaf shadow.

Immediately it was twilight
and a voice called dinner.

The child taught voice
and you must obey.
By now the dog was bored
and trotted away, perhaps hoping
to dig up a dead vole
out of the system of tunnels
that undermined those dusty peonies.

The child panted after
shouting all the lessons at once,
adore me, stay, dinner, come,
heel, fetch, don't die,
so they sounded savage
like a sob or the name of God
until the dog was scared
and bounded across Glenwood
into the neighbor's yard
or the neighbor's neighbor's.
and the voice (which was mind)
spluttered, now, this minute, at once--

at once other voices were shotuing
you always, you never, please,
no, come back, with an edge of panic
or triumph or unbearable weariness--

but it was night and the firefly
vanished into its own burning planet.

--D. Nurkse

Copyright © 2014 by Oberlin College. May not be reproduced without permission.



Let's imagine I'm translating something to you--
you, asleep, or sleepless and naming
that third place--between--

with the tips of your tapering fingers--

I don't know the language.
It bends.

In the mind--in that strangely shared chamber--
that is, I mean, in your hands,

where you show me those scenes of confusion and flight
with such intimacy, and don't know it--

even sans color, sans liquor, sans shape,
we are twins. Fraternal. Unknown.

The moon, invasive, huge,
lunging in through the windows,
makes no exceptions--

It's true: it will never happen / you'd be surprised.

--Sarah Maclay

Copyright © 2014 by Oberlin College. May not be reproduced without permission.


Near to the discovery of my faulty
uterus, I worked with owls--
I studied their well formed

gullets and their pellets, uniform,
blue-gray. Palm sized bundles, derived
from the marriage of owls' large eyes

and rather puny guts.
Small prey swallowed whole
and large prey torn to bits,

creatures roughly plucked,
a few skinned and this: owls
have no crops, no stones

to mortar and pestle things up.
Digesting several hours
after dining at a favorite roost

the owl takes on a pained
expression--squinting eyes,
swollen face--and a cough

brings up remains
without intention, yet
no retched blood, no spit.

The pellet quietly drops to be perhaps
found, perhaps stolen
by a sufficient seeker. Inside

I found exquisite bones, cleaned
of all flesh. Arrested tags of fur,
cornrows of teeth, a few

organic stories to assemble,
which is why I stopped,
not to think so much about my recent loss,

her tender cheek
and truffled ear, her tidy, cold
though perfectly compact form.

--Mary Jo Thompson

Copyright © 2014 by Oberlin College. May not be reproduced without permission.


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