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Nathan Brown

Poetic approaches to the limits of fabrication are not so historically determined. Sometime around 1862, Emily Dickinson starts a poem with “I cannot live with You –”, then proceeds to unfold a labyrinth of grammatical, theological, and syllogistic implications before arriving at the following decisive formulation: “So We must meet apart – / You there… Continue reading Nathan Brown

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James Baldwin

Societies never know it, but the war of an artist with his society is a lover’s war, and he does, at his best, what lovers do, which is to reveal the beloved to himself and, with that revelation, to make freedom real. — James Baldwin, “The Creative Process,” Creative America. (The National Cultural Center /… Continue reading James Baldwin

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Stephen Crane

I saw a creature, naked, bestial, Who, squatting upon the ground, Held his heart in his hands, And ate of it. I said, “Is it good, friend?” “It is bitter—bitter,” he answered; “But I like it Because it is bitter, And because it is my heart. — Stephen Crane, “In the Desert,” Twentieth-Century American Poetry… Continue reading Stephen Crane

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John Keats

The weariness, the fever, and the fret    Here, where men sit and hear each other groan; Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,    Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;      Where but to think is to be full of sorrow            And leaden-eyed despairs. — John Keats, from “Ode… Continue reading John Keats

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Kate Daniels

The moon Is a popular literary image—solipsistic Misery, misplaced love. Whatever. Tonight, it’s nothing but a source Of milky light, swinging high up in the sky Shining weakly on the bleakness inside And the bleakness outside that has No other meaning but the cold Un-crackable rock of itself. — Kate Daniels, from “Metaphor-less,” The Best… Continue reading Kate Daniels

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Octavio Paz

Stretched out side by side, we exhanged confidences, whispers, smiles. Curled up, she fell on my chest and unfolded there like a vegetation of murmurs. She sang in my ear, a little sea shell. She became humble and transparent, clutching my feet like a small animal, calm water. She was so clear I could read… Continue reading Octavio Paz

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Dave Smith

I throw out love like an anchor and wait where the long house lights of strangers tickle the river’s back … Isn’t it right to drag the rivers for the bodies not even the nets could catch? I won’t lie, I want you to lie with me on the tumbling surface of love. — Dave… Continue reading Dave Smith

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