New Work

Poetry: Julie Doxsee

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GIANT ATTRACTION WITH CREATURES

Everyone’s tooth
is a little machine

that can’t starfish itself
to the lip it loves.

The way you speak
hits the ceiling & stays there

laryngitic, a blue noise
photoshopped clean I can’t

stand so vertical. What brought
this image to light made a

motorcycle-growl & chicks
exploded from the eggs

you would have cracked into
my mouth. What brought this

image to light wrapped a
perfume ad around your hand

during the immaculate peeping
so you wave goodbye to infinity.

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Poetry: Reginald Shepherd

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Somewhere Off the Coast of Cyprus

Gods don’t get what they want, they stumble,
falter and halt at the frontiers of fulfillment, puzzled
that power isn’t always pleasure. They want
to know what know is (I have known, I knew, I know, I will
know, I will have known
), instead learn only no. (Conjugate
this, decline every noun.) No happy ending to this sentence
for a god, sentenced to helpless
potency, all will and self-belief but somehow
substanceless, a notion of force that steals a form
and calls it body, steals a body and calls it mine, impervious
to touch. A litter of porous marble’s all that’s left,
paint-stripped but still stained, nothing that anyone
could use. How useless immortality becomes
in time, rubble retrieved from a receding river
in a year of drought. The goddess has no arms,
the god’s hand drawing back the bow
is missing, there’s no protection for them
anymore. Acid rain worms through their statuary
skin. Better to wait for the waters
to return, the mildewed monuments to finish
crumbling. Let the shipwrecked cargoes sleep
where they sank (myths buried in them
like birds that won’t be heard), gold leaf and lapis lazuli
dreaming of love, whatever love means to a god.

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Reginald Shepherd
is the recipient of a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship, which he plans to use to pay off the medical bills for a year’s worth of nonstop sickness. When not in the hospital in one capacity or another, he’s the author most recently of Fata Morgana (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007), Orpheus in the Bronx: Essays on Identity, Politics, and the Freedom of Poetry (University of Michigan Press, 2008), and Lyric Postmodernisms: An Anthology of Innovative American Poetries (Counterpath Press, 2008). He lives, and takes long naps, in Pensacola, Florida with his partner Robert Philen, a cultural anthropologist and paragon of love, kindness, and generosity.

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Poetry: Edward Smallfield

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autumn in New York

A blur
at this tempo
a memo
often mingled ignores
with pain the store-
fronts lit with & rowing
against the river the going
& coming a blur:
finger-
prints on the keys
on the knees
of the city a lingering
I want to live
it a sieve

*


after Niedecker 4


pillow
slip so white
it hurts the eyes.
Nightgown blow
thru my bare snow
-blanket I
freight the night
—the marrow
of the hummer
(hotly) cared
for no objects here
water , summer
(the hot) shore
Good-bye to lilacs by the door

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Edward Smallfield
is the author of The Pleasures of C and the coauthor of One Hundred Famous View of Edo, a book-length collaboration with Doug MacPherson. His poems have appeared in alice blue, Five Fingers Review, New American Writing, Parthenon West Review, 26, and a number of other magazines. He lives in Barcelona with his wife, the poet Valerie Coulton.

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Poetry: Liz Waldner

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Lacustrine and Midrash

This is what kind of sweet life I have had:

Someone wrote to me:

what a shame it is your love of life
should be pulled into its best channels by a lady radio

and I wrote it down
and I found it long enough later
that I have no idea who or when or why.
I did love that lady radio.

Also:

Someone sang to me:

up in an airplane
smoking her sweet cigarette
she went way up in an airplane

Then I read, years later, this very thing
in a Walker Percy novel
knew someone else had heard it sung
knew this was marvelous for I was so lone, so solitary
that whatever I heard was rendered
solitary too. Or so I thought but Oh

like Robinson Crusoe, I was not alone.

Now call upon my soul within the house,
go on, please.

I will answer, I am so happy.
Whereas before I knew this had all been so sweet

I would merely have hoped you would love me.

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Poetry: Brenda Iijima

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SHORN OF ITS HABITAT

as if a final descent                                          HABITUATION RABBIT

the primeval swamp

the common herd

the crowded giant suns                                    HOVERS THE NORM

the many questions posed

the many species written off

the most helpful people

in fact, the several individuals

in fact, their sense of loss                                              ENTREAT TREATY

TREATMENT            SUCKER            QUARREL           THESE CLAWS

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Poetry: Nick Moudry

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Still-life

I think love is not this flower.
You sing at night through our teeth.
Our mouths do not move. If I want
a pumpkin, I will have a pumpkin.

It is raining. You are not wet
because you are inside. Looking up
you notice there is no
ceiling, only poems about ceilings.

If I want a pumpkin, I will
have a mirror to reflect all pumpkins.
It is raining inside the poem.

The poet has no control over this.
The bamboo withers. The poet
has no control over that either.

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Nick Moudry wrote this poem in the fall of 2002. He was in graduate school at the time and lived with the poet Eric Baus in an old house in Northampton, MA. Eric went to Whole Foods every day and bought lots of fresh produce, half of which would rot in a bowl on the kitchen table. Nick did much of his writing at the same kitchen table. He wrote several poems about rotting food that year. Now Nick lives in Philadelphia and works at Temple University. He is contractually obligated to state that he received a 2008 literature fellowship fromthe Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

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Poetry: Gillian Conoley

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Welcome to Omnidawn Blog’s first Poetry Feature! Rather than be a forum for only Omnidawn authors, we see this as an opportunity to highlight the work of other writers we admire too.

This week you will find
work featured by the poet Gillian Conoley.

In coming weeks you will find work by Karen Garthe, Brenda Iijima, Rob Schlegel, Ed Smallfield, Liz Waldner, and that’s just the start! We plan to feature new poetry by a different writer every week or two.

Feel free to comment.

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