> From Daniel Borzutzky’s  poem “Shithole Song #1106” 


they hide our passports in the shithole beyond our shithole 


they organize our hunger into units of betrayal in the shithole


soon our shithole will be exported into a less shitty shithole in the prettiest shithole 

of all the shitholes in texas georgia florida nebraska illinois new york shithole 


we are the prettiest shit in the shithole 


we are a people of hope and we sing and sing


we sing as they shit into the shithole 


we sing as they shock us in the shithole 


we sing as they lend us money to rent back our bodies in the shithole . . .

From Lucie Brock-Broido's poem "Presidentus Interruptus"

                                                                                      -– 19 January 2017


Perhaps he is composing the customary, courtly letter, by tradition


To be left in the top drawer of the Oval Office desk

                                                                              To the President-Elect.

God-speed, it says,
Stay gold
, it says.
Fuck you
, it says
Try not to tweet too much,


> From Lezama Lima's "Maria Zambrano," translated by Roberto Tejada: 

                 Maria is for me now

                already a sibyl

                we approach tenuously

                believing that we could hear the center of the Earth

                and the heavenly firmament

                beyond the visible sky.

                To enliven her, observe her nearing like a cloud

                is to drink a glass of wine

                and to plummet in its dregs

                She can still bid farewell

                with Araceli in her arms

                but she returns always like fearful light. 

> From Oren Izenberg’s essay “The Poetry Genome Project: A Dream”:

                        “Let us dream . . . of a Poetry Genome Project. Really, you don’t have to, because others have already done some preliminary dreaming for us. In the boom days of the early 2000s, the web development team of the newly established Poetry Foundation . . . was on the hunt for ways to spend its money that would fulfill its mission ”to raise poetry to a more visible and influential position in our culture . . . . One task that seemed particularly urgent was to facilitate access to an immense online catalogue of more than 10,000 poems to which it had exclusive copyright. . . . The Poetry Foundation’s web development team hatched a proposal for what it called “Project Calliope”: 

The Poem Recommendation Engine (Project Calliope) Is a tool/web application that offers poem recommendations to site visitors at At its most basic level, the tool will identify poems that are similar in subject matter, historical context, structure, theme, voice, and tone based on an established set of criteria. It will use mathematical calculations to determine which poems adhere in the online archive.

Available now

Issues 11 and 12 can be purchased together for $25.00 beginning January 1, 2020.

No 12 Contents

1. Poems:

Curiouser and Curiouser Realities

Mei-mei Berssnbrugge (6)
Timothy Donnelly (11)
Angie Mazakis (19)
Zoë Hitzig (22)
Rae Armantrout (25)
Josh Bell (30)
Terri Witek (33)
Richard Geenfield (36)

2. Art

Leslie Dill, Color-Plates (41)
Commentary on Leslie Dill:
Calvin Bedient (49)
Molly Bendall (56)
Karen Garthe (60)
Karen Garthe, Letter from Paris on Dance (62)
Cole Swensen, Poem/Essay on the Pastels of Oscar Petlin (66)

3. Poems:

Toward and Beyond Asperity

Douglas Kearney (83)
Daniel Borzutzky (86)
Tongo Eisen-Martin (90)
Shane Book (94)
Marcelo Morales (104)
Tyrone Williams (107)
Barrett Watten (109)
Brenda Hillman (124)
Evie Shockley (132)
Karen Garthe (138)
Andrew Zawacki (141)
Jacob Kahn (144)
Amy De’Ath (150)
Jeanine Webb (153)
Sandra Simondss (156)
Drew Milne (159)
Grzegorz Wróblewski (164)
Olivier Cadiot (168)

4. Prose Essays and Reviews

Section one:
Mostly on Poetry and the Criticism of Poetry

Oren Izenberg on the Poetry Genome (169)
Laura Martin on Social Photos (180)
David Lau on Drew Milne (186)
Adrienne Raphel on Stephanie Young (195)
Calvin Bedient on Hyesoon, Pizarnik, Prikryl, and Laser (200)
Lindsay Turner on Anne Boyer (210)
Joan Retallack on Mina Loy (213)
Kenneth Fields on Much in Little, the Part and the Whole (215)
Robert von Hallberg on Poetry Criticism (220)

Section two:
Essays on the Prose Poem

Bonnie Costello (227)
Cole Swensem (235)
Donna Stonecipher (240)

Section three:
Poems Accompanied by Reviews of the Poets

Andrew Zawacki and Anne Portugal, poems, prose by Portugal (250)
Stephanie Strickland, poems, prose by Stefania Heim (260)
Farid Matuk, poem, prose by Siward Masannat (273)

5. Roberto Tejada
Three Essays and translations of Lezama Lima poems (283)

6. Poems on the Outskirts of Language, Slithy Toves

John Wilkinson (315)
Molly Bendall (323)
Paolo Javier (326)
Anca Roncea (331)
Jamie Green (335)
Ekaterina Zakharkiv (338)
Michael Farrell (341)
Lee Young-ju (343)
Marjorie Welish (345)
Anna Morrison (350)

7. Assorted Poems

Lucie Brock-Broido (356)
Robert Hass (363)
Joan Retallack (372)
Sawnie Morris (374)
Arthur Sze (376)
Martine Thomas (379)
Jake Fournier (380)
Mars Tekovky (384)
Nathan Rosenthalis (389)
Liz Countryman (392)
Kit Robinson (394)
Nicole Zdeb (401)

8. Georg Lukács, Excerpt from an early book on Aesthetic Theory (404)

Black and white art by Valyntina Grenier (106, 354) and Brian Shields (81). A detail from this last is reproduced on the masthead. The image on the front cover, The Thrill Came Slowly Skirt, is drawn from Leslie Dill’s chamber opera Divide Light. Courtesy of Leslie Dill and the Nohra Haime Gallery. The two small images on the back cover are from Lesley Dill’s Early American wilderness clothing series: on the left, Northern Blast (Edward Taylor); on the right Unredeemed Regions (Nathaniel Hawthorne). Courtesy of Leslie Dill and the Nohra Haime Gallery.

Submission period: January through March. Email the submission to Poems should be placed in one document and the poet's last name should be prominent in the title, to facilitate finding the document. Avoid PDFs, unless only a PDF will keep the layout in order.


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