on Brass by Xhenet Aliu
When I described Xhenet Aliu’s Brass to a friend as a story about a teenage girl’s complicated relationship with her single mother, she said, “I’m not really a fan of mother-daughter stories.” We parted ways soon after, and I walked …
on Cherokee Road Kill by Celia Bland
Cherokee Road Kill is an important book written by a poet in command of her craft. I first met Celia Bland some years ago in a workshop with the marvelous Jean Valentine, and she shares a few of Valentine’s great …
Naming the Absence
As I am writing this in the summer of 2018, more than two thousand migrant children are being kept at the U.S.-Mexico border and around the United States, separated from their families, as pawns in a cruel political agenda. Doctors …
Southerners, Snakes, and Me
Men and women are not only themselves, Somerset Maugham writes in The Razor’s Edge (1944), “they are also the region in which they were born, the city or apartment or the farm in which they learnt to …
A Constant State of Migration
In poetic (and practical) terms, glass is most typically associated with delicacy and fragility—glass houses, glass castles, hearts of glass. Laura Wingfield and her glass menagerie shattering with the routine roughnesses of the world. Percy Bysshe Shelley’s lament in “Adonais” …
What I Asked
Afternoon Sun at the End of Summer
The children wade naked and thigh-deep
in stone-colored water. They duck under
and come up flinging drops from their hair.
Wind raises gooseflesh on their arms.
Touch is the miracle, wrote Whitman.
Touch is the earth’s language and