Recently we’ve had some fantastic contributions from George, Jordan, Shadi, Michael, Athesia and Dean. We are, however, a little behind schedule in poetry. Just to gently nudge, here is one published today (with accompanying pictures) in The Criterion: An International Journal in English.
Also below are two companions pieces, A Period of Mutually Agreed Upon Reflection (The Criterion, 2015) and “Dick with Glasses” (1990).
At the end, are previous poetic contributions from others.
I who wrote one poem in college thirty years ago,
Walked into a cemetery,
Lit my first cigarette in ten years,
And wrote a poem in my mind.
Lacking pen, I found a Starbucks,
Scrap paper and a black Sharpie.
Within fifteen minutes, finis.The images and dreams
Taken from another person.
But who cares?
Then the letter.
To be published in an upcoming issue.
A complete novice.
Absolutely unprecedented and unimaginable.
The luminaries who grace the page
Of The New Yorker!
Friends and family for the rest of their lives
To be speechless.
The Department of English
In which I serve as an adjunct
To be dumfounded.
I who never play the lottery,
Won the lottery.
Whose life I borrowed,
Who left me,
Will come back.
Companion piece (also published in The Criterion)
She has three men to forget now.
Her husband who she left for her lover who she left
To be alone in her dreams.
The one where her father builds a shinto shrine
Of cigarette butts in the ashtray,
Telling her, doesn’t she know he is dying?
The father who pissed beer on her older sister’s bed
Before she was born.
The sister who wished she had danced on her father’s casket.
The one where an intruder carries a knife bloodied as with red barnacles.
The one where her husband is fucking another woman.
The one where her lover has become a mystic on a Caribbean island
Where she goes once watching blue dolphins play in the waves.
The original poem 30 years before from “The New Yorker is publishing my poem!” With accompanying letter and photo.
FROM OLIVIA SPENARD, TOM HARRIS AND SOME LUXPOETS