Three Poems by Anna Piwkowska

Iphigenia’s morning Who recognized these crossroads, these poisonous bogs, false lights of will-o’-the-wisps on succulent marshes? Where are you today and what are you brewing in your copper cauldrons—what new, sudden vision of terrible fate led you to fulfill a familiar prophecy, to spool the skeins of wool? As usual, you are traveling. I am […]

The Rifle / Tüfek

On the wall hung a rifle. A brown rifle. Who knew how many years it had been there. From time to time, my father took it from between the deer, who seemed spooked, and cleaned it, blowing away the dust. He gazed at it, maybe daydreaming, maybe remembering old times, before getting up and hanging […]

The Funeral Pyre / Le Bûcher

(September 1884) Last Monday, in Etretat, Bapu Sahib Khanderao Ghatgay died. He was an Indian prince, a relative of His Highness, the Maharaja Gaikwar, Prince of Baroda in the province of Gujarath,in the Bombay Presidency. For about three weeks, we saw about a dozen young Indians passing through the streets: small, supple, with very dark […]

Poetics of Resistance

The Nail that Sticks Out: On Vietnamese Poet Ly Doi’s Poetics of Resistance Vietnamese Publishing Law lists the following subjects as taboo. If a writer chooses to publish a piece that crosses these vague restrictions, there’s a good chance he or she can expect a visit from the police, along with some combination of fines, […]

Day of Rest

Day of Rest Glass-fibred beings under online drums in the heat of the bits, always a ringing in the ears, more zero than one, up tonine-one-one, plug in the socket, through the night, day in, day out, night failure, day failure power failure. Dead zone of the electrons. Leave the cables where they are, marvel […]

Five Poems

My country, why this crazy love for you? You got me born so I could be your wound. Where can I hide on the barren hill? My verses dog me like old murderers. And deep in my ice every night something breaks.     With your name I’ll name the curve you lean on like […]

Records of Rage

Over the winter of 2014, as Arctic air plunged the American Midwest into its cruelest winter in decades, my mother and I—both Thai immigrants—watched as our homeland’s political troubles reached a new low. In November of the previous year, thousands of civilians started occupying Bangkok’s streets in order to protest the government of then-prime minister […]

Five Poems

Aesop’s Language The language of Aesop eludes me, and it’s too late to be taught a new tongue; whether they’re villains, reprobates, or robbers, I’m used to calling the powers that be—with no provisos, no thought for rank or title—by their actual names. I won’t thin complicity among the many, or inflate an individual shame. […]

Among the Trobairitz

Lady Maria, +++++++++++ivalue and valiance, joy and beauty and intelligence, +++++ihonor, worth, and hospitality, noble speech and pleasing company, fine, sweet face and merry countenance, +++++igentle gaze and loving glance— all these, in you, and not the trickster’s art, they draw me toward you with an honest heart. I pray you, if it please you, […]