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Quiescent Infinite

by Hélène Cardona

On a visit to my ancestors I’m shown / into the palace of hypnotists / through a small entrance and grand rounding staircase, / each step a drawer containing sculptures.

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Four by Rilke

translated by Len Krisak

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) is one of the most influential poets in German literature. Following are new translations of four of Rilke’s poems from his 1907 work Neue Gedichte.

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The Dreamer Returns Home

by Robert S. King

This was not my house the day / it grew smaller over my shoulder. / The family my blind rage left would not / know me now, nor would I know more / than who they were.

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Piano

by Joyce Sutphen

Somehow, it keeps itself in tune. / Each key remembers its name / and loves its neighbors— / black and white.

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Midnight Recital

by Kurt Lovelace

Kneeling to untangle my dog’s leg from its leash, / how did I get here, walking a pit bull in the dark under the sour leaves of drought resistant Texas oaks?

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The Cope Paradigm

by Jim Davis

But boy, I’ll tell ya, a moment / in the woodshed with Kathleen would shake the rust / from the long-handled lopper and the pruning saw— / she’ll make you think this whole thing’s worth doing, / and worth doing right.

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Sculpting the Desert

by Robert S. King

Even in desert sun no scales crack through / your skin of almost pure light. / Your tracks do not hurry around themselves / like a twisted puzzle.

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At Least One Point

Jim Tilley

My father never settled for clumsy solutions, / some leap of insight always required, / a transformation to an equivalent problem / easy to solve.

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Secret Friends

by Jessica Bell

I don’t know how to pray, / but I’ve seen them do it / on TV; kneeling by a bed / in nightgowns, hands woven / like secret friends.

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Ink

by Erica Orloff

my grandmother has hate tattoos / carved into her arms / goose-stepping numbers marching / wrinkled, onion-paper flesh / human ash and cattle cars

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Souls of Finland

by Günther Bedson

Like a tree your roots are gnarled and twisted / in the dampness of this earth / your yellow leaves swirling D-major triplets / dancing down to the square

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Creation

by Philip Appleman

On all the living walls / of this dim cave, / soot and ochre, acts of will, / come down to us to say: This is who we were.

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Günther’s Tree

by Lois P. Jones

Because you are strong. / Because your branches span out ahead of you. / And in so many years, age has allowed breadth to match height.

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