(Fall 2018)
FIELD 97  
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Charles Simic: A Symposium

Peg Boyers
The Hittites Are Coming!
Marianne Boruch
"Bent as I Was, Intently..."
Bruce Weigl
On Paradox and Beauty
Charles Wright
Charlie in the Magic Factory
David Rivard
In the City of Discreet Adventures
Marilyn Johnson

Robert Boyers

  You, Too
Ange Mlinko Unfolding "Winter Fly"


Charles Simic

Blind Fate

Claudia Serea
All the Foreign Languages
Cynthia Hogue
To Hide a Child
Andrea Read
Origin of Speech
Love Inside the Snow Globe
Catherine Pierce
We Live in the Most Exquisite Terrarium
Eve Jones
Poem in the Shape of an Eye Looking Up
Carolyn Oliver
Dead Reckoning
Geography Lessons
Arthur Sze
Pitch Blue
La Cieneguilla
Elizabeth Bradfield
Garibaldi Glacier
Gerlache Small Type B
Betsy Sholl
Miserere Mei, Deus
Cassandra Cleghorn
Word of the Day
Twenty Years into My Father's Ghosting
Mary Ann Samyn

Seven Deer on a Ridge

Matthew Thorburn
Each Night We Wandered
Until You Never
Leah Falk
Evidence of the Making Process
Elton Glaser
Have a Nice Day
Bruce Beasley
Inordinate Fondness
Elizabeth Lyons
At the Liberty Diner, I Stop Reading Lear
Love Letter from the Casket-Maker
Sarah Maclay
Before Us
Dennis Hinrichsen
[trance state]
Bill Rector
Conversation with a Poem
Jonathan Blunk
While C. K. Williams Reads Tsvetaeva
Anne Marie Macari
March Snow
Bow Down
Christopher Howell
To the Undine Child
Dennis Schmitz
The Thought-Proof Parts
Marianne Boruch To Be in Conversation, He Says, With
Justice and Mercy
Grzegorz Wroblewski
(translated by Piotr Gwiazda)
  [I Gathered Everyone]
Carol Potter   Anaconda
The Hairs on Your Head Are Numbered
Peter Leight   New This Season
John Gallaher   The History of My Blood
Two Gods in Aspic


I got here through no talent of my own.
I did not birth myself, or even will myself
into being. One day I was a cluster of cells,
one day I was a heart, one day I was
a human in the world. Now what? Look
at the luck I was given, born into a place
with a hot yellow sun. Born with two
nimble hands, a strong enough voice.
If I’m not shouting down cruelty or at least
singing all the time, what am I doing?
If I’m not building a table or holding a child
or slicing tomatoes warm from the garden
I’ve weeded myself, what am I doing?
I bought these electric blue flats. Suede.
I did it because it made me feel a little
happy, that small dopamine hit that comes
from picturing yourself looking like someone
someone wants to look at. But how absurd
is that? How flimsy? I’ve never learned to change
a tire. My music theory is abysmal.
Sometimes I don’t realize it’s snowing until
there’s already a dusting on the driveway,
which is certainly close to excuseless.
But I swear I’m mainly paying attention.
I swear I’m grateful at least a dozen times a day.
If I could cradle the earth in my hands
for ten seconds, I would, just to show it how
tenderly I could hold it, how I wouldn’t drop it,
how I cherish it even as I’m turning in early
instead of going out to see the Perseids.
I’ve always loved a carnival. Is it enough
to love a carnival? I could ride the teacups
all day. That shriek that comes from spinning,
the one that unfurls from somewhere deep
below the throat like a bright streamer?
It’s language. It translates into thank you.

--Catherine Pierce

Copyright © 2018 by Oberlin College. May not be reproduced without permission.



I can’t stop—

Like a Band-Aid floating in a swimming pool—

Skipping one flat stone after another across the surface of a pond—

Ax head in a stump with a long handle in the air—

The alcohol inside of sentences—

Like a village with men approaching on horseback—

Looking up from a laptop and finding it noon—

The moment before collision—

Never light this match—

--Arthur Sze

Copyright © 2018 by Oberlin College. May not be reproduced without permission.


Backwards I would tell it
so the soldiers borrow the rope
from Jean’s neck to hang
the church bell so rocks fly
from windows sparkly bits
rising into frames so flames
turn into Schmidt’s barn

a crackling torch a glass bottle
drop into this soldier’s hands
I would tell it backwards
so the bleating sheep go quiet
the lightning-cracked sky
lightens in the west the sheep

wander backwards out
of the barn soldiers climb back
into their trucks their tanks
roll slowly out of sight rifles
suck up each bullet as they go

so Mother will appear here
beside me again I’ll drift
awake again she strokes my hair
sweet boy it was only

a dream she says a dream
you must wake up now it’s time
to turn on the light time to

get dressed eat dinner grow
smaller until you never have to

live through this.

--Matthew Thorburn

Copyright © 2018 by Oberlin College. May not be reproduced without permission.


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