November 2010


(Issue 13, section 1: 15 Miami poets)
Elisa Albo
Howard Camner
Adrian Castro
Denise Duhamel
Corey Ginsberg
Michael Hettich
Miriam Levine
Christopher Louvet
Jesse Millner
Barbra Nightingale
Geoffrey Philp
Laura Richardson
Alexis Sellas
Virgil Suárez
Nick Vagnoni

Issue 13 Guest Artist:
Xavier Cortada

President: Peter Robertson
Vice-President: Sari Nusseibeh
Deputy Editor: Jill Dawson
General Editor: Beatriz Hausner
Art Editor: Calum Colvin

Consulting Editors
Marjorie Agosín
Daniel Albright
Meena Alexander
Maria Teresa Andruetto
Frank Ankersmit
Rosemary Ashton
Reza Aslan
Leonard Barkan
Michael Barry
Shadi Bartsch
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 Boulossa
Rachel Bowlby
Svetlana Boym
Peter Brooks
Marina Brownlee
Roberto Brodsky
Carmen Bugan
Jenni Calder
Stanley Cavell
Sampurna Chattarji
Sarah Churchwell
Hollis Clayson
Sally Cline
Kristina Cordero
Drucilla Cornell
Junot Díaz
André Dombrowski
Denis Donoghue
Ariel Dorfman
Rita Dove
Denise Duhamel
Klaus Ebner
Robert Elsie
Stefano Evangelista
Orlando Figes
Tibor Fischer
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
Peter France
Nancy Fraser
Maureen Freely
Michael Fried
Marjorie Garber
Anne Garréta
Marilyn Gaull
Zulfikar Ghose
Paul Giles
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
Laurie Maguire
Willy Maley
Alberto Manguel
Ben Marcus
Paul Mariani
Marina Mayoral
Richard McCabe
Campbell McGrath
Jamie McKendrick
Edie Meidav
Jack Miles
Toril Moi
Susana Moore
Laura Mulvey
Azar Nafisi
Paschalis Nikolaou
Martha Nussbaum
Sari Nusseibeh
Tim Parks
Molly Peacock
Pascale Petit
Clare Pettitt
Caryl Phillips
Robert Pinsky
Elena Poniatowska
Elizabeth Powers
Elizabeth Prettejohn
Martin Puchner
Kate Pullinger
Paula Rabinowitz
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
James Richardson
François Rigolot
Geoffrey Robertson
Ritchie Robertson
Avital Ronell
Élisabeth Roudinesco
Carla Sassi
Michael Scammell
Celeste Schenck
Sudeep Sen
Hadaa Sendoo
Miranda Seymour
Mimi Sheller
Elaine Showalter
Penelope Shuttle
Werner Sollors
Frances Spalding
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Julian Stallabrass
Susan Stewart
Rebecca Stott
Mark Strand
Kathryn Sutherland
Rebecca Swift
Susan Tiberghien
John Whittier Treat
David Treuer
David Trinidad
Marjorie Trusted
Lidia Vianu
Victor Vitanza
Marina Warner
David Wellbery
Edwin Williamson
Michael Wood
Theodore Zeldin

Associate Editor: Jeff Barry
Associate Editor: Neil Langdon Inglis
Assistant Editor: Ana de Biase
Assistant Editor: Sophie Lewis
Assistant Editor: Siska Rappé
Art Consultant: Angie Roytgolz

Click to enlarge picture Click to enlarge picture. Three Poems by Barbra Nightingale  


The Silkie

They thought she was dead,
at best deranged.
The way she undulated
through water, the colder
the better, how she stayed
down so long they thought
she’d drowned, the algae
in her hair, long floating strands
like a flag waving in wind.

They thought what she spoke
wasn’t language, some strange
twisted tongue from a country
they couldn’t pronounce.
But they were wrong, the color
and syntax too layered.
There was much they didn’t know.
Everyone gathered to stare,
to watch as swollen with words
she was pulled from the cove
to deep water, to steep, pebbled bank,
then left to her solitude,
begging for what they never understood.
The sleek feel of fur in her mouth,
the thick shine coating her tongue,
her long deep vowels coupled
with the softest of thuds,
come all this way to journey back home.


For Mother, Dying Alone

In the long night of your sleeping
you died, dreaming your last dream.
Were there lavender mists
to soften the mountains,
craggy forests filled with dark?
Were there brooks gently trilling,
a moon with a kindly face?

There are a dozen explanations
for why I was not there,
not near as true as this:
In the end we’re all alone,
no matter how many hands
to hold us back, or tug us gently on.


Barbie Gets Divorced

Let’s face it: at fifty
I no longer feel twenty
though you’d never guess
to look at me. Ah!
The wonders of polystyrene.
But in the night, I turn
slick as glass, hot flashes
almost melting my plastic bed.
Just as Ken finished
his manly stuff, fiddling
with the A/C, adjusting the fan,
I’d be freezing, teeth chattering so hard
my molded smile could crack,
pink skin turned icy blue.

Frustrated, Ken slept on the couch
and pretty soon Skipper
looked better and better
and Ken moved out.
“Fifty years!” I shouted at him,
“I supported you for fifty years!”
Everyone knows that Ken never held
a job, it was always me—
from fashion model to nurse
to lawyer to CEO. Everything
was mine. Did you ever see
Ken’s camper or Ken’s sports car?
Of course not! All Ken had
was his spiffy clothes with the Velcro crotch.
(He was more a Johnny-come-quickly
than anything else.)
But did he care? Did he appreciate?
No! Soon as things got rough
he left. It wasn’t my fault my fist
would wind up in his eye, or my toes
stuck behind his ear; my body was on fire!
I was sticky, going soft around the edges.
Nothing I could do! The rat, squeamish
as he was, bailed, then sued me for half of it all.
Talk about a bitter pill—what’s left for me?
Even GI Joe is younger than me, and last time
I saw him, he was missing a leg. “War’s hell” he said.
Well, all that’s water down the drain
as I always say. I’m not one to pout.
I’ll just drive this spiffy coupe
over to headquarters and pour me another guy!
They may have retired the mold that made me,
but brother, you’re a dime a dozen.
Look out, boys, here I come!