Poetry: Joseph Lease

the call is coming from inside the house,

dogs try to hide from death (I’m sure I’ll try), dogs

try to hide from death (the door stays locked): empire

equals fitness and guns and used books, if the

world is state terror (“so that’s all it is”)—I forgot

joy—dripping in my skull—(“it’s just a path, don’t be

nervous”)—with the Hollywood walrus half

of your head, my soul was a nightclub, a forest,

a mouth

11054436_738553682926706_2426227855613568712_nJoseph Lease’s critically acclaimed books of poetry include Testify (Coffee House Press, 2011) and Broken World (Coffee House Press, 2007). Lease’s poems “‘Broken World’ (For James Assatly)” and “Send My Roots Rain” were anthologized in Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology (Norton). “‘Broken World’ (For James Assatly)” was also anthologized in The Best American Poetry (Scribner). The Academy of American Poets anthologized Lease’s poem “True Faith” on poets.org, and e-mailed the poem to 70,000 subscribers. Lease’s poem “Free Again (Why don’t people)” was published in The New York Times. Lease has received The Academy of American Poets Prize and grants and awards in poetry and poetics from Columbia University, Harvard University, Brown University, and California College of the Arts. He is a Professor of Writing and Literature at California College of the Arts and a member of the Advisory Board of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics.