Lawrence Joseph

Lawrence Joseph's most recent books of poems are Into It and Codes, Precepts, Biases, and Taboos: Poems 1973-1993, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. His book of prose, The Game Changed, is published by the University of Michigan Press in its Poets on Poetry series. He is Tinnelly Professor of Law at St. John's University School of Law in New York City.

Who Talks Like That?

Who Talks Like That? Who Talks Like That?

The Narrows is strips of yellow and jade, Verrazano Bridge silver, horizontal lines, here; and here, someone alone, afraid, crying, sad, sunken eyes, emaciated body; and, here, the…

Oct 8, 2015 / Books & the Arts / Lawrence Joseph

Three Poems by Lawrence Joseph

Three Poems by Lawrence Joseph Three Poems by Lawrence Joseph

“Syria,” “Inclined to Speak,” “The Game Changed”

Oct 1, 2012 / Audio / Lawrence Joseph

Syria Syria

…and when, then, the imagination is transmogrified in circles of hatred, circles of vengeance and killing, of stealing and deceit? Behind the global imperia is the interrogation cell. It’s not a good story. Neither the Red Crescent nor journalists are permitted entry, the women tell how men and boys are separated, taken in buses and never seen again, tanks in the streets with machine guns with no shells in the barrels because the army fears that those who will use them might defect. Who knows what has happened, what is happening, what will happen? God knows. God knows everything. The boy? He is much more than Mafia; he, and his, own the country. His militias will fight to the death if for no other reason than if he’s overthrown they will be killed, too. “Iraq, you remember Iraq, don’t you?” she shouts, a refugee. Her English is good. Reached via Skype, she speaks anonymously, afraid of repercussions. “You won’t believe what I have seen”—her voice lowered almost to a whisper—“a decapitated body with a dog’s head sewn on it, for example.” Yes, I know, it’s much more complicated than that. “It’s the arena right now where the major players are,” the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs concludes his exclusive CNN interview. Dagestan—its province in the North Caucasus—is what the Russians compare it to, warring clans, sects; Lebanese-like civil war will break out and spread across the region. Online, a report—Beirut, the Associated Press— this morning, “28 minutes ago. 4 Said to Be Dead at Syrian University,” one Samer Qawass, thrown, it is said, by pro-regime students out of the fifth-floor window of his dormitory room, dying instantly from the fall…

Sep 5, 2012 / Books & the Arts / Lawrence Joseph

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

In Moby-Dick, in the chapter "The Fossil Whale," Ishmael proclaims: "To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme." The theme of Joyce Carol Oates's Blonde--well, it'...

Apr 20, 2000 / Books & the Arts / Lawrence Joseph