We are a public forum committed to collective reasoning and the imagination of a more just world. Join today to help us keep the discussion of ideas free and open to everyone, and enjoy member benefits like our quarterly books.
Ouch, Burning House, when are you going out?
Red windows, shut your red mouths. I cannot endure
Your hot voices swarming through me because now
In my poem I have become you! I thought,
“I put this house in my sonnet and I can take it out.”
Ted, I thought this burning house was something
I could don and doff. NOT. Is this what art feels like?
And what it feels like to be art? On fire not able to stop?
Shut up you red ambulance a poet is inside you!
It’s 12 PM in the dark neighborhoods of sad youth.
At heart we are infinite, we are ethereal, we are weird!
And yet, Dear Ted, forgive me, but I need the boat of a bigger name:
Four syllables—Odysseus—myself tied to the mast of it
Listening to the sirens scream.
Lynn Emanuel is the author of five books of poetry, Hotel Fiesta, The Dig, Then, Suddenly—, Noose and Hook, and, most recently, The Nerve Of It : Poems New and Selected, which was just awarded the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets.
Vital reading on politics, literature, and more in your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter, Monthly Roundup, and event notifications.
Draconian individual punishment distracts from systemic change and reinforces the cruelest and most racist system of incarceration on the planet.
Our well-being depends on a better understanding of how the logic of labor has twisted our relationship with pleasure.
“I was my father’s son. My father was Nai Nai’s least favorite.” A Taiwanese American man, driven from home by a secret, reevaluates his childhood memories of his grandmother.