Poem about Pittsburgh Houses – David Blair 

My parents’ house took a beating
the winter my mother was going—
blizzards, ice busting gutters,
the wallpaper stained with run-off.

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Complaint – James Wright

She’s gone. She was my love, my moon or more.
She chased the chickens out and swept the floor,
Emptied the bones and nut-shells after feasts,
And smacked the kids for leaping up like beasts.

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Town Watches Them Take Alfonso – Ilya Kaminsky


Now each of us is
a witness stand:

Vasenka watches us watch four soldiers throw Alfonso Barabinski on the sidewalk.
We let them take him, all of us cowards.

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Absolute Rhythm – David Wojahn

Claudia Emerson, 1957–2014

I believe in an absolute rhythm, a rhythm . . . in poetry that corresponds
exactly with the emotion or shade of emotion to be expressed.


Siri, show us a picture of an iamb.
& the pixels gathered on the phone screen,

Half-moon married to slash, scythe
Beside spear-shaft. Crescent or chalice,

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