Because… so different, powerful, net-dropping, or all of the above.
James Baldwin, “Untitled.” Possible about the maturing of the civil rights movement. Or about celebrity. In either case, gently stunning. First lines: “Lord, / when you send the rain, / think about it, please, / a little?”
Caroline Bergvall’s “From ‘DRIFT.’ ” Part words and part images, the poem begins with pages of rough lines and slashes and builds to words blowing apart into their letters in what seems to be a storm at sea. Seems to be.
Ada Limon, “State Bird.” Metaphor breaks your heart.
Samiya Bashir, “Carnot Cycle.” Beautiful application of geology to life. Made me look up what in the world the Carnot Cycle was. Wikipedia:
The Carnot cycle is a theoretical thermodynamic cycle proposed by Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot in 1824…. It can be shown that it is the most efficient cycle for converting a given amount of thermal energy into work, or conversely, creating a temperature difference (e.g. refrigeration) by doing a given amount of work.
Gabrielle Calvocoressi, “Captain Lovell, ['My eyes are shaky and glimmer like the stars'].” Don’t read too quickly. Opens itself on reread, research.
My eyes are shaky and glimmer like the stars.
My head turns to the left and it moves
just like a pendulum. The kids laugh and shake
it back to me, all the ways I’m stupid,
not like them. But I know how the grass sounds
when the locusts come, like a spaceship
taking off and how it makes the air shake.
It turns out Calvocoressi is writing about her nystagmus, a condition “of involuntary eye movement, acquired in infancy or later in life, that may result in reduced or limited vision.” And Calvocoressi creates this with it.
April Bernard, “Anger.”
When, during my travels along the Gulf Coast,
the intruder returned in the night
and I did not call the cops again but stood
with a butcher knife facing the door, yelling, “Come in!”
although this time it was just the wind flapping
and banging the screen door —
Tim Seibles, “Mosaic.” One of the longest and most enrapturing Poetry‘s published this year. “In America skin was / where you belonged, a who / you were with, a reason / someone might: how — at the / parties of hands unknown — / astonishing deaths / could meet you.”
Jane Hirshfield, “My Life Was the Size of My Life.”
My life was the size of my life.
Its rooms were room-sized,
its soul was the size of a soul.
Mary Karr, “Descending Theology: The Resurrection.”