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Part 3 Contributors

 

Michelle Bitting
Laurel Ann Bogen
Laure-Anne Bosselaar
Lucille Lang Day
Corrinne Clegg Hales
Marsha De La O
Charles Jensen
Eloise Klein Healy
Glenna Luschei
Clint Margrave
Henry Morro
Alexis Rhone Fancher
Phil Taggart
David L. Ulin
Jonathan Yungkans
Lorene Zarou-Zouzounis

Part 1 Contributors

Rae Armantrout
Bart Edelman
David Garyan
Suzanne Lummis
Glenna Luschei
Bill Mohr
D. A. Powell
Amy Uyematsu
Paul Vangelisti
Charles Harper Webb
Bruce Willard
Gail Wronsky

Part 2 Contributors

Elena Karina Byrne
liz gonzález
Grant Hier
Lois P. Jones
Ron Koertge
Glenna Luschei
Rooja Mohassessy
Susan Rogers
Patty Seyburn
Maw Shein Win
Kim Shuck
Lynne Thompson
Carine Topal
Cecilia Woloch

Part 4 Contributors

Tony Barnstone
Willis Barnstone
Ellen Bass
Christopher Buckley
Neeli Cherkovski
Boris Dralyuk
Alicia Elkort
Mary Fitzpatrick
Michael C. Ford
Kate Gale
Frank X. Gaspar
Dana Gioia
Shotsie Gorman
S.A. Griffin
Donna Hilbert
Brenda Hillman
Glenna Luschei
Phoebe MacAdams
devorah major
Clive Matson
K. Silem Mohammad
Rusty Morrison
Harry Northup
Holly Prado Northup - In Memoriam
Cathie Sandstrom
Shelley Scott - In Memoriam
Daniel Shapiro
Mike Sonksen
Pam Ward
Sholeh Wolpe
Gary Young
Mariano Zaro


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Michael Barry
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Thomas Bartscherer
Susan Bassnett
Gillian Beer
David Bellos
Richard Berengarten
Charles Bernstein
Sujata Bhatt
Mario Biagioli
Jean Boase-Beier
Elleke Boehmer
Eavan Boland
Stephen Booth
Alain de Botton
Carmen Boullossa
Rachel Bowlby
Svetlana Boym
Peter Brooks
Marina Brownlee
Roberto Brodsky
Carmen Bugan
Jenni Calder
Stanley Cavell
Sampurna Chattarji
Sarah Churchwell
Hollis Clayson
Sally Cline
Marcelo Cohen
Kristina Cordero
Drucilla Cornell
Junot Díaz
André Dombrowski
Denis Donoghue
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Rita Dove
Denise Duhamel
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Stefano Evangelista
Orlando Figes
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Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Peter France
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Michael Fried
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Lydia Goehr
Vasco Graça Moura
A. C. Grayling
Stephen Greenblatt
Lavinia Greenlaw
Lawrence Grossberg
Edith Grossman
Elizabeth Grosz
Boris Groys
David Harsent
Benjamin Harshav
Geoffrey Hartman
François Hartog
Siobhan Harvey
Molly Haskell
Selina Hastings
Valerie Henitiuk
Kathryn Hughes
Aamer Hussein
Djelal Kadir
Kapka Kassabova
John Kelly
Martin Kern
Mimi Khalvati
Joseph Koerner
Annette Kolodny
Julia Kristeva
George Landow
Chang-Rae Lee
Mabel Lee
Linda Leith
Suzanne Jill Levine
Lydia Liu
Margot Livesey
Julia Lovell
Thomas Luschei
Laurie Maguire
Willy Maley
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Paul Mariani
Marina Mayoral
Richard McCabe
Campbell McGrath
Jamie McKendrick
Edie Meidav
Jack Miles
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Susan Stewart
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Mark Strand
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Rebecca Swift
Susan Tiberghien
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Michael Wood
Theodore Zeldin

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Assistant Editor: Laurence Webb
Art Consultant: Verónica Barbatano
Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

 
Click to enlarge picture Charles Jensen
Charles Jensen
Californian Poets Part 3: Four Poems
by
Charles Jensen


 

 



The Hotel Botched Seduction

In the film’s first scene, the poet
          takes me to his room “to grab
                    something [he] forgot”; once

there, looks me in the eye. Holds
          my gaze like a ripe pear he can’t wait
                    to devour. Then eyes the bed, sheets taut

as sail. The whole movie is this scene
          on repeat, and you, like the main
                    character (me), will wonder if

I requested this. Deserved this. Said words
          as clues on the treasure map leading us
                    here, where X is the final gunshot

that ends the word sex. His eyes, my eyes.
          A bed that gazes into me. The mattress
                    is an interview. This bed denudes

itself, shows me bleached flesh.
          It wants my taste. He points to holy
                    texts missionaries placed in drawers.

He smiles. He laughs. Each sound disarms
          with shame he drapes over me like damp clothes
                    until I can’t recall arriving, who

cast me in this film. On the cutting room
          floor: saying No over wood-fired pizza,
                    me apologizing like I’d lured him here

to fell him like a Christmas pine.
          You won’t see his sweaty highballs
                    at a club. How I sculpt lips in No, no, no.

Won’t see me dodge his kisses amid
          twirled bodies jostling me in their sea.
                    Won’t see the end. I leave him the street,

taxi’s ass the only one I let him see.
          I thought I was a person, his friend
                    but now I know a body’s all I’ll ever be.






Hollywood Walk of Fame

Here they laid
          mosaic where grass
                    was too much

bother, a gray slab
          of rock a tombstone
                    for something green.

In seven years,
          palms planted for
                    the World’s Fair

will die of old age—
          Then what will
                    Hollywood be?

The junkie at CVS
          who begs to be
                    acknowledged, the glass

and steel high rise,
          a knife fight just
                    about to break out,

the wrecks of dreams,
          some stars scattered
                    on the sidewalk with

the names of those
          who died, as if
                    that’s all they left behind.





Thirty-eight Postcards from a Vacation

1. Traffic flexing like a murmuration of starlings forming inkblots
2. Near death experience provided by Dodge Charger
3. Embracing in the cool air of the desert hotel room
4. His kiss
5. By the pool, the shock of light on water’s chopped glass
6. The shushing lips of misters blowing raspberries
7. He takes my hand across the dinner table
8. The flush in my face is a blossoming
9. Pointing out Orion’s belt above the condo complex
10. The perfect seam between our bodies in the bed is master tailoring
11. Vinyl records, the musty scent of other lives embedded in their jackets
12. Paloma’s tart bite chased by tequila’s medicine
13. Who am I after this—because of this—in spite of this—
14. He has perfect eyes; they invented a blue I’ve never seen before
15. Brunch in the modernist patio home—bacon brine hovering like gossip
16. The perfect chair exists and it has held me like a treasure
17. Louie the cat in my personal space, not a fear in this world
18. He holds my hand beneath the table
19. Toward Los Angeles, back facing the desert, just there-and-back
20. I wake up one year older; the earth shivers until one photo pratfalls on its shelf
21. Back facing Los Angeles, toward the desert some hours later
22. We embrace again in the cool air of another desert hotel room
23. He takes me to dinner and is the most beautiful person I can think of
24. The server placing a candle in the slice of cake
25. He says, make a wish
26. I know exactly what it is
27. I vanquish fire
28. He murmurs through sleep, I apply my body as a salve
29. I could lose this, which I do not possess, a fact I must accept each day
30. He does not want to leave and finds excuses to delay what we both know will pass
31. You want to grab a coffee? he asks, but it means, will you stay with me a little longer
32. I will stay with you a little longer
33. I will stay with you as long as I can
34.
35. When I drive away, I am certain I have left something essential behind
36. I long for it the rest of the day, curious as a tongue seeking a missing tooth
37. But I know he exists
38. For now that is all I need to know





Last Week in the United States

I rushed through the week to get to Saturday,
eager to forget what happened Monday.
A hot bath, a cocktail planned for Friday.
Promised myself extra sleep for Tuesday.
Binged Netflix alone on Thursday.
Someone bought a gun on Wednesday.

Someone tweeted “It’s Hump Day!” on Wednesday
A political sex scandal broke on Saturday.
They passed a voter suppression law on Thursday.
Someone bought a gun on Monday.
Someone bought bullets on Tuesday.
Someone planned a happy hour for Friday,

over Zoom, not your usual happy hour Friday.
Someone drove a car through a barricade on Wednesday.
Someone bought a gun on Tuesday.
A Black child was shot by a cop on Saturday.
The protesters still walked on Monday.
The protesters still walked on Thursday.

It was a beautiful day for hiking the hills on Thursday.
Someone bought a gun on Friday.
Metal detectors went into the Capitol on Monday.
The jurors went into deliberation on Wednesday.
We hadn’t heard a verdict by Saturday.
I made a casual dinner date for Tuesday.

But he moved it to next week Tuesday.
Someone bought a gun on Thursday.
We were all so worn out by Saturday.
We were all so worn out by Friday.
We were all so worn out by Wednesday.
We were all so worn out by Monday:

There was a mass shooting on Monday.
Another mass shooting on Tuesday.
A mass shooting on Wednesday.
Yet another mass shooting on Thursday.
A mass shooting followed on Friday.
A mass shooting Saturday.

We grieved for Monday’s dead on Thursday.
We grieved for Friday’s dead on Tuesday.
We grieved for Saturday’s dead on Wednesday.