Thirty Years of Phoenix Poets, 1983 to 2012 by University of Chicago

By University of Chicago

Chosen via collage of Chicago Press Staff
35 pages
Chicago Shorts
For thirty years now the Phoenix Poets sequence has been publishing the easiest poets operating in English, from younger poets publishing their first books to well known masters on the top of storied careers. This pattern offers the very best poets and poems from these 3 decades—it’s certain to whet your urge for food and get you coming again for more!

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Sample text

Wait—suddenly I can’t think of any! The present is here, its birds and bees, fons et origo of life, folie de toucher that infects even the civilized classes— none of these are a reason to “start with” life, though some are undeniably a veiled warning back from the precipice where love dwells along with fetishism and nympholepsy. No need for these not to cohabit as long as the horses can stand it. Downtown was mesmerized another year. Just who are these strangers who come on so strong? Yet it is good to remember one’s humble origins, and reflect on how we came to look this way.

By the way, only minors are allowed. Finally I just went to him and said—look, if that’s all you can bring to the table, why are we here? We’ve got lots to do—more than our share. You can hear cars revving up in the next valley, but there’s still not enough time. Only doubt, and suspicion, subsist. Cut the week in half. Stir the ice-cube tray. Bring a sketch pad, a child’s illustration, a small investment, then more material as someone oversees it, a harmonic convergence viewed through a flawed window, on pain of death.

Soon it was all old as clay. Why wait for another day? You know this one is happening and will be the same after it has happened. Nothing will come to take its place and that will be fine, good. Though not inhuman, we can play at what it would be like to be God, and God will not take us away. Another time I was at your house. It was suddenly dark inside. A wind swept past the bark of some trees. It was overdue, they said. All storms are inept. It was time to find the mind-crystal, pore over what we still had, the huge resource we owed.

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