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. Four Poems by Virgil Suárez  


Alba Written at Bennington College

No caw of roosters to greet the pale snow here,
nothing stirs at this hour, not even the mice
buried deep in the snow. I stop to piss by a tree

but notice that a dog has beaten me to the spot,
a yellow smear near the tree's trunk. I hate how
snow crunches under my boots. My hands are crows

nested in my pockets. My breath ghosts every word
I want to utter in name of such loneliness, such magic,
but my mouth is merely a slit through which enough

air passes inside my lungs. On my way home
in this white world where everything seems to forget
the idea of green, my memory becomes a cardinal

shooting across the snow like a drop of blood.


Blue Snow

I walk in the Bennington snow at midnight,
cross the bridge over the lake. In moonlight,
the upturned canoe burrows its hump shape
from the shadows. This is a bestial night,
a blue night of hatched truths. Dark surprise.
A harsh wind speaks her name to the trees.
Sifted, fresh snow falls upon the path. I don't
feel lost, but I see my breath in front of me,
mouthed words fall frozen at my feet, crunch
under my boots. Air singes my lungs with cold.
How far is home in all this blueness? I fall
three times, get up, dust my legs off . . .
There's the myth of crossing too many bridges.
Of not looking back once you cross. Chunks
of snow fall off the branches. Twigs break
underfoot. I hear my father calling. What
is he doing here so far from his island?
I trudge onward to escape all the selves
he wanted his only son to be.


Allegro con Salsa

These Bennington College trees line the path
through the lake to my white-clapboard house
in Orchard C, Godliness blue on the sifted, fresh

snow. This island boy can wither here, I think,
if not for the heat in my own blood, spooked
horses on my grandfather's farm, miles deep

in my memory. I cross the bridge, unsteady feet,
the snow crunches like bones under my boots.
The wind hits snow chunks off tree branches,

some nocturnal morse-code not intended for me,
but for some other creature. I start humming
an old song from childhood to steady my mind,

my tongue, my hands, my breath, frozen . . .
The moon peeks through clouds. I start to dance.
I conga through snow as if my life depended on it.


The Great Suspiro

In black cape, top hat, he choked
words into his throat, a web of deceit,
though a magician he wasn't.

Actually, my parents worked
with him during volunteer red
Sundays when they picked

potatoes from muddy fields,
and Suspiro looked up at the sky
and said he'd could read

the bottoms of clouds like hands,
and he knew that everyone's
days in Cuba were counted,

and he sighed. He sighed all
the time, which is how he got
his nickname. Suspiro. Sigh.

My father tagged "The Great"
because he said when Suspiro
spoke, people stopped work

to listen. Until the day, he fell
over furrowed earth, clutching
his breast, and out of his mouth

came a scream that set doves
aflutter in the distant cane fields.
Suspiro, of the bone-white

predictions. How my parents
would leave their country
never to come back. Me, I grow

silent when I feel his hands
wrap around my throat, a mouse
caught in a trap, its neck broken

a pulse quickening, then letting go.