Poetry: 2020s

Poem of the Day

401 Requiem

By Tracie Morris

There’s a sign near the waterfront
I think it’s advertising cheer:
says 400 years, virginia spirits. A swig.

A year ago last night, my dead crowd me
an even ceremony
of Jamestown, at the schooner

that brought those first here.
They think: long trip
did not yet know, not the longest part

Sea: Night Surfing in Bolinas

By Forrest Gander

Maybe enough light    •    to score a wave    •    reflecting moonlight, sand    •    reflecting
moonlight and you    •    spotting from shore    •    what you see only    •    as silhouette
against detonating bands    •    of blue-white effervescence    •    when the crown of the
falling    •    swell explodes upward    •    as the underwave blows through it    •    a flash
of visibility quickly    •    snuffed by night    •    the surf fizzling and churning    •
remitting itself to darkness    •    with a violent stertor    •    in competition with no other

from “Parrot Eyes Lust”

By Ron Silliman

for Elliot Helfer

             Do potatoes suffer?

                            Would it be new
                             with a blue pen?

                This lightweight
                                slightly minimalist
                        black German
                                          fountain pen

                     The Lamy Safari

             The alphabet
                    with my name inserted
                                 black against red

Fever of Unknown Origin

By Campbell McGrath

A storm of buzzards is circling outside the window
of my hospital room, looking south and east across the river
toward the high-rise construction cranes downtown.
They are a regular sight in December, buzzards migrating
in particulate vortices, slow-moving gyres that resemble,
from a distance, glassless, black-feathered snow globes.
Satin-hemmed sheaths of cloud shuttle across the sky,
diffuse silver light alternating with bursts of Florida sun,
the occasional spatter of raindrops from a string
of unseasonable storms parading up from the Gulf,
cars composing a stop-and-go stream of metal
parallel to the river, small Caribbean freighters docked
along quaysides of cabbage palms and crab traps,
I can see it all with great clarity, the birds, the traffic,
it’s effortless—the doctor in the eye clinic
spoke enviously of my vision, better than 20/20,
even at my rapidly advancing middle age.