Poem: “Incendiary Art,” by Patricia Smith

Poem: “Incendiary Art,” by Patricia Smith

The city’s streets are densely shelved with rows of salt and packaged hair. Intent on air, the funk of crave and function comes to blows with any smell that isn’t oil—the blare of storefront chicken settles on the skin and mango spritzing drips from razored hair. The...
Poem: “Boy Breaking Glass,” by Gwendolyn Brooks

Poem: “Boy Breaking Glass,” by Gwendolyn Brooks

Whose broken window is a cry of art (success, that winks aware as elegance, as a treasonable faith) is raw: is sonic: is old-eyed première. Our beautiful flaw and terrible ornament. Our barbarous and metal little man. “I shall create! If not a note, a hole. If not an...
Poem: “Quarantine,” by Eavan Boland

Poem: “Quarantine,” by Eavan Boland

In the worst hour of the worst season of the worst year of a whole people a man set out from the workhouse with his wife. He was walking—they were both walking—north. She was sick with famine fever and could not keep up. He lifted her and put her on his back. He...
Poem: “Submerged,” by Lola Ridge

Poem: “Submerged,” by Lola Ridge

I have known only my own shallows— Safe, plumbed places, Where I was wont to preen myself. But for the abyss I wanted a plank beneath And horizons… I was afraid of the silence And the slipping toe-hold… Oh, could I now dive Into the unexplored deeps of me—...