Friday, January 11, 2019



Balancing on his haunches, snapping at a stuffed frog I dangle above his jaws,
my Maltese’s front paws look puny as a kangaroo’s.   He can hold the position
for an astonishing 8 to 10 seconds.   If I were an honest parent, I’d explain to
him the futility of changing one’s nature—like trying to mate different species
of butterflies.   There he goes again, the little boxer . . . and here I go again,
remembering the June my rage overheated until it pounded music out of the
stereo with a mallet. Everyone I loved stopped their horseplay.   I saw two
futures—one a moonlit shoreline; one a diagnosis. There was a third future I
didn’t see.   Although I haven’t yet used the word “world,” when I do, I won’t
mean what that woman meant, index to her temple as she asked: how do you
bring the world into your thinking about art?
   That whole summer my black
razor-point pens, when laid side by side, looked like bodies in body bags.


Steven Cramer is the author of five poetry collections, including Goodbye to the Orchard (Sarabande, 2004)—named an Honor Book in Poetry by the Massachusetts Center for the Book—and Clangings (Sarabande, 2012). His work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Field, The Kenyon Review, The New England Review, The Paris Review, Poetry, and elsewhere. Recipient of an NEA fellowship and two grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, he founded and teaches in the low-residency MFA program in creative writing at Lesley University.


We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.

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