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Discussions Discussion Modern Poetry
Christie James, Dec. 22, 2011

Deborah Ager, born in 1971, co-founded the poetry magazine known as 32 Poems in 2003. Her manuscript, Midnight Voices, was published by Cherry Grove Collections. She’s one of my preferred young American poets.

Summer Nights, by Deborah Ager

Lamoni, Iowa

The factory siren tells workers time to go home
tells them the evening has begun.
When living with the tall man

whom I didn’t love, I would wander
the streets, dreaming of Italy.
Trekking the handful of avenues

with him, he would say look there
between pink cobblestones,
there’s manure like mortar.

The sweet smell of it Wednesday nights,
the night before auction,
when the misery of cows greets me

heading home through town.
Lake quiets, tired of my lies.
When will I tell truths again?

The siren. My love is home.
Nights, we stay in and X the days.

Christie James
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Discussions Discussion Modern Poetry
Elsa Maestra, Oct. 12, 2011

Miroslav Holub was a Czech scientist and poet. Here’s a brief poem he wrote that is really about the poetry of science. It’s called “In the Microscope”

Here too are the dreaming landscapes,
lunar, derelict.
Here too are the masses,
tillers of the soil.
And cells, fighters
who lay down their lives for a song.

Here too are cemeteries,
fame and snow.
And I hear the murmuring,
the revolt of immense estates.

Elsa Maestra
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  • Jason Hodin Jason Hodin Oct. 27, 2011
    The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in dewdrops on the grass, or even in one drop of water.” -Zen Master Dogen (Welch & Tanahashi, trans)

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Discussions Discussion Modern Poetry
Bert Breton, Oct. 10, 2011

One of my preferred modernist Poets is Henry Dumas. He was born in Sweet Home, Arkansas, in 1934, and moved to Harlem when he was 10. He attended City College in New York before joining the Air Force at which time he spent eighteen months at Dhahran Air Force Base in Saudi Arabia. Here he developed an interest in the language, culture, religion, and mythology of the Arab world.

During his life, Dumas was active in civil rights and humanitarian efforts, including transporting food and clothing to protesters in Mississippi and Tennessee. He taught and directed language workshops at Southern Illinois University. He and his wife, Loretta Ponton, had two sons. At the age of 33, Dumas was shot and killed by a New York City Transit policeman in a case of mistaken identity.

His writing was published posthumously.

Bert Breton
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  • Bert Breton Bert Breton Oct. 10, 2011
    “If I Were Earth” — by: Henry Dumas

    Each tear that fell
    from the crushed
    moons of your face,
    stabbed me,
    broke and split
    into a thousand pains.
    But I held out my arms
    and no not one did I miss,
    No, not one pain.
    And if I don’t let
    you soak into me
    and bring me up,
    if I don’t let you seep
    deep into me
    and teach me,
    then you can cry in
    the morning to the sun,
    and tell him to rise up
    and burn me away.

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