Raphael Allison is a poet and literary scholar. His recent poems have appeared in Tin House. He has published numerous essays on figures as diverse as James Schuyler, Muriel Rukeyser, and Walt Whitman and is currently writing a book on recorded poetry. He teaches writing at Princeton University.
To the white and orange koi and the long, gold god who nipped from the top of my neighbor’s unlikely pond her last mouthful of nutritive scum, goodbye until your fatty doubles are happily dumped up to their weird whiskers into your empty house. I watched you last summer turn and turn and turn, then […]
The land was nothing. Just fields of blank ice and trees dying, crows hooting and tumbling over the granite of our disbelief. For those who didn’t leave quarter, cold whippings. For those who did, whipping cold and icy boots, flamed skin, hollows of hunger that plunged whale-deep. Appetite’s animal snarl, ribs prowing hard through seas […]
The woman does not move. Her idea moves. In a series of ripples, quickly and with supreme assurance, derivative light expends itself, the idea of light. She is gathering her scarf into fleshy folds of yellow-white twill, slowly flagging its own unclocked motion. There were many pictures to make this one, as they say Flaubert […]
In the snowed-in flowerpots sporting wizard hats a frond, green shoulders stiff against the old, frozen dirt emerges, misinformed. The little green bishop’s tendril rigid near the stem-cuff slumps to the white crust. It is an old mistake: here, but not now. The weather report says: “more snow.”
The trees are yellow, the chlorophyll is gone, brown birds fit black in the sky or the color of the wet blue skin of horses. These stand quiet while flies rim their eyes to drink from the deep brown well, wings tucked in lucent folds. It’s apple-pie order in this proliferation of light except the […]