Bianca Stone, What Is Otherwise Infinite

By that token, perhaps Bianca Stone is just the poet for our times. Her verses wrestle with a dirty angel, one that bites and kicks. There is no snow-white falcon in her pages. But she does not quit.”

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Show and Tell

(DanielJButler)

“In the actual, from which another life/Is straining to burst, to set out in navigation,/Or be swallowed by demons in the leaves.”

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Smart Fish Don’t Bite

(Gary Metras Fishing)

“One of these days,/the guy with the rod won’t be so kind./This is why we hear about the liars,/hypocrites and crooks like Spiro Agnew,/Richard Nixon, Jimmy Swaggart,/Bernie Madoff, Sam Bankman-Fried…”

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Journey Through Mountains

(“Twelve Views from a Thatched Hut, Detail Two” by Xia Gui (1195-1224)

So many stars and mountains, crests and sky,/Are we not fools to think that we can know/What underlies such intricate designs?”

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Lisa Olstein’s Dream Apartment

(Copper Canyon Press)

“The Dream Apartment is no Barbie’s Dream House. It is rather an abode of opaque and backlit, sometimes hard-edged reverie.”

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Burma

(CIFOR)

My mad uncle had the Burma jungle/In his head—burnt-out tracts of history/He’d stalk in ambush of his sanity”

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Olive Tree Treaty

“Don’t know how long it will take to bloom,/but I want to make a start/tomorrow.”

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Death of the Polar Explorers

Doubt/Never stunned the marrow in their bones/Who rose above the merely physical,/And if they faltered, it was only once—”

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Cycling at Vésinet

Her long hair, the color of her pants,/falls down her back. She has what appears to be a flower tucked behind her left ear.”

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A Taste of Poetry from the Late Tang Dynasty

(Painting of a poet by Wang Wei, from the eighth century)

Insects fall silent amid the sedge and cranes grow restive in the treetops,/Sensing this busy world no longer cares for the sentiments of old.”

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Sarcasm

(“The Triumph of Aemilius Paulus” by Carle Vernet (1789))

“You returned to Rome Augustus triumphant./King of defeated nation I trailed behind./To this day the senators can’t tell/which of the two wore the wreath.”

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How KFC Gives Prisoners a Taste of Normal Life

(Shutterstock)

“I said a silent prayer, asking for the strength to get through another day of being incarcerated, and climbed down from my steel bunk, ready to navigate the gossip, fighting, and ordinary drama that come with prison life.”

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For Love Nor Money

Every object, rests on its certain devaluation/In the implacable fact of an ending—decay,/Dissolution, death—from which another/New thing and its solicitation emerges.”

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Coming to Terms with a Lifetime of Trauma While in Prison

“The hyper-masculine environment of a prison creates additional impediments. Inmates fear that any sign of weakness might lead another inmate to take advantage, another reason not to speak openly with others. Sexual abuse is at the top of the list of things prisoners will not talk about.”

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You Tread on My Dreams

Allow me to be unambiguous: I am no one’s BIPOC mannequin. I am a person foremost and not a skin color, and I will not be cheapened nor reduced. I am not marginalized, and I need no special treatment. I refuse your categories.”

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