Volume 111, Number 3/4

Volume 111, Number 3/4

pl10934-lg …I need to speak about home
I need to speak about living room
where the land is not bullied and beaten into
a tombstone
I need to speak about living room
where the talk will take place in my language

—June Jordan

Cover Caption:  [from] “The Shadow City” series, 2007-2012, Kibera, Nairobi © Christian Als/Panos

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Editors’ Page

Is there a word more universal and more profoundly private than “home”? What it conjures up for each of us is distinct and inviolable: not a place, exactly, but a time in a place or places that were, that are, our own. Haven, testing ground, war-zone—for better or for worse, our most intimate memories are shaped there.

In an era of entrenched poverty and mass displacement, the image of home has particular poignancy. In refugee camps and vast slums around the world, millions inhabit so-called “temporary” shelters. Like the Kenyan family in our cover photo, they gather by makeshift hearths to prepare the evening meal.

An essay in this issue, “Home Thoughts” by poet and psychoanalyst Henry M. Seiden, argues that the longing for home is a central theme in poetry and in therapy. Much of the work in these pages animates his claim. Chris Green’s opening poem unfolds in a precarious household “next to the railroad tracks” and ends, “My father was news from the outside. / I could not stop him from coming home.” Casey Nagle’s “Chevy Lumina Camera Obscura,” extols the enchantments of a childhood hideout: “We loved the upside-down projections: / the sunset, the panic, the neighborhood search….//…we sat behind the wheel, waving goodbye, / happily, as if we were moving.”

Leaving home to reinvent oneself is the subject of Mary Stone Hanley’s profile of her brother, poet Yusef Rahman of the Black Arts Movement. She recounts scenes from their family life in Cleveland and speculates about his transformation in New York City, his subsequent homelessness in LA, his murder in Sacramento. And Margaret Randall’s review of Lauren Camp’s One Hundred Hungers lauds a daughter’s ardent attempt to reconnect her Iraqi-American father to the home of his birth.

But isn’t the body our ultimate home? Where else can we always be found? In the words of Jenny Browne, whose poems are introduced in this issue by Naomi Shihab Nye, “Knock-knock. // I’ll swear / I’m there.”


Chris Green
The Poem as Dog

Suzanne O’Connell
Sepia Tones
My Captive

Frankie Drayus
Trapped caught held

Matthew Thorburn
Holy Ghost
The Size of a Fist

Hayden Saunier
Performing Heart-Repair Surgery at 2 A.M. While Asleep
Riverside Attractions / Terminal Avenue

Christopher Beard
Catching Old Movies at Theater Arcadia

Afaa Michael Weaver
Something It’s Taken Thirty  Years to  Write

Peter Neil Carroll

Julian Bond
What Does It Mean?

Lindsey Royce

Joseph Zaccardi
Talk in the Town Barbershop

Katherine Lo

Betsy Sholl
Missing Sister

Jacqueline Balderrama
You and I See the Animals

Casey Nagle
Chevy Lumina Camera Obscura

Javy Awan
Ticket Outta Here

Lucinda Watson
Road Trip

Cynthia White
Toward a Natural History of My Mother

Roger Pfingston
Pie Pan

Denise Duhamel
Darwinian Pantoum

Colette Inez
At the Met

Anya Silver

Marie Reynolds
Ars Poetica: Starting Over

Lee Rossi

Richard Jones
Waiting for the Bus
Black-and-White Photograph

Phillip Sterling
Words Frequently Confused: Transformation, Transmutation

Sue Song
Last Night
Last Rites

James Crews
The Question

Paul Martin
The Peach

Cynthia White
My Father’s Guns

Judith Harris
My Father Comes to My Hospital Room
My Father in Red Sweater

Adam Scheffler
A Nursing Home in Kentucky

Rob Hunter
The Dementia Patients

Myronn Hardy
The Super Looks from Balcony

Rasaq Malik
What My Father Says Every Night

Indran Amirthanayagam
Acceptance Speech

Dara Barnat
The Age I Am to Myself
What Spanish Moss Knows

Teresa Mei Chuc
Chernobyl Necklace

R.T. Smith

Brooke Sahni

Jack Vian

Nora Hutton Shepard
No Reason

Sudie Nostrand
[In large cities]

John Bargowski
Star Party

Brad Johnson
Galileo Looking Up

Fred Shaw
“You Can’t Be in Heaven and on Earth at the Same Time”

Rodney Torrenson
In St. Louis, My Son, Daughter and I Stroll the Old Delmar Loop

Karen Sagstetter
Now that you’re in a better mood

Betsy Johnson-Miller
let’s try this again: what is romantic

Stephen Tapscott
Why do I address you as you

Helena Mesa
The Players

Jackleen Holton Hookway
Meditation on a Baby Wipe

Emily Tuszynska
Every Day a River

Hillary Brooks Houle
I Still See You

José Angel Araguz
Music Box

Naomi Shihab Nye
Lonesome on the Earth

Poets Introducing Poets

Naomi Shihab Nye introduces Jenny Browne

The Pretty Lizard Breaks

Worst Desert Ever

In the Unlikely Event of a  Water Landing

A Rainy Day on the Rue de Something

Thoughts on the Past in Guadalupe County

Open Carry

Llano Park

Re-reading The Tempest

Mountains Behind Mountains



Henry M. Seiden “Home Thoughts”

Mary Stone Hanley “A Profile in Jazz and Poetry:  The Lost Music of  Yusef Rahman”

Joanna Chen “A Beginner’s Guide to Tear Gas”


Margaret Randall “The Tenacity of Memory”
One Hundred Hungers: Poems
by Lauren Camp

Batnadiv HaKarmi “Holes in the Earth”
Red Deer
by Anne Marie Macari

Teri Cross Davis  “Restless Vulnerability”
Honest Engine
by Kyle Dargan