Eleanor Lerman's poems sing a song that is bravely gloomy, but they sing it with a fierce and earned dignity.
Your coffin was so small,
Only I knew it was full of
orange pekoe tea leaves
smoking chimneys over wet peat;
Allen Ginsberg's "Wichita Vortex Sutra," written at the height of the Vietnam War, speaks with a jarring relevance today.
On this side of the window
A shower of chrysanthemum.
Outside, torrential rain.
Our cat, who's over nineteen, likes to sleep
on the massed softness of a pile of shirts,
two, three, four, flung on the floor
but soon to be gathered up
As if I had become happy: I went back. I pressed
the doorbell more than once, and waited...
(perhaps I am late. No one is opening the door, not
a groan in the hallway).
sharing a meal of the food they've been given
The new moon shines intensely
Works by Nicky Beer, Sandy Tseng, Eric Leigh and Shara Lessley,
winners of the Discovery/The Nation Joan Leiman Jacobson Poetry Prize.
A meditation on travel, art and a life fully lived.