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Terrance Hayes on 2018: American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

Re-reading American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin by Terrance Hayes (Penguin Poets, 2018) at the end of 2018 was literally hard to stomach. I revisited the politically charged poetry collection on the day a seven-year-old child died while in U.S. Border Patrol custody and was reminded of the work’s visceral nature. Hayes’s keen focus on bodies creates a striking portrait of contemporary American…

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“Salton Sea,” Gelatin Silver Exposure, 2017 by Kate Bove

Step 1. Exposure: My grandma wanted a burial at sea. It sounded like something beautiful—like something worth immortalizing in marble, or on canvas. An oil painting the size of a billboard. But this place is nothing like an oil painting. Not slick, not exact. Instead, the Salton Sea is like a Seurat painting: beautiful at a distance, the shapes familiar and concrete—until you walk closer, realize…

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After Hurricane Irma by Kristin Laurel

~ Estero Recreation Center, September 2017*   DAY ONE or THIS SUCKS “We’re just waiting for the water to recede.” In the gym, over four-hundred olive green cots, white blankets stamped with red crosses. A white stranger in their bedroom; brown, beautiful children smile up at me. How would it feel? All your belongings, stuffed into two black trash bags? Are the most vulnerable the…

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On Crescents & Transition & Waning by Kayleb Rae Candrilli

In the moments just before anesthesia took me to the bottom of the ocean (and then back), I looked down my hospital gown and admired, for the last time, the fullness of this original body. My original body had many marvels but I always wished it for someone else—spent years daydreaming of my flesh neatly disassembled, and sent to more deserving homes. But you cannot give…

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