THE POEM: Jack Kerouac’s 11th Chorus of Desolation Blues

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MRB Chelko

I can shut my smile down on a dime / and instant-curdle anyone I learned that trick / young practiced on strangers in the local mall / watched as they shrunk into fetal postures...

Friday Pick: How Should a Person Be?

Should you be cordial to those people you don't like or does that make you the worst kind of phoney? Is it okay to fuck because we are lonely and not because we are in love? Is it narcissistic and selfish to try to live as an artist?

Bruce Bond

The mapping mind holds its compass / in its eye like a monocle. It holds us // in bounds, on course, or else we break. / Or is it the map that breaks...

Katia Kapovich

Under such heavy guard, I started walking toward the exit, my head bowed, feeling upon myself the disapproving silence of the crowd. It was people like me that were destroying America, bringing the country to the very edge of economic collapse.

Friday Pick: Jan Heller Levi’s “Orphan”

At first glance, Orphan is made up wildly disparate parts—part personal narrative, part allegory, part song — but together they describe a journey.

Kelli Russell Agodon

There’s an old dog limping in the yard / and it’s my old dog. Bless the sweet / fog he roams through and call that that sweet / fog

Lillian Kwok

Yes, darling, refuse to understand death! I think / it’s lovely & brave that you’re not giving up on me

Jessica Goodfellow

that’s how we say it: drunk out of their minds, NOT / drunk out of their bodies. Out of his mind with grief...

Marcos Giralt Torrente

Our intuitions have as much weight as hard evidence, and while there may be occasions when those intuitions turn out to be right, there are, on the other hand, many others when we can’t distinguish what we really know from what we’ve simply imagined, where we see silhouetted figures when there’s really only a wall, a shadow, and a plant swaying in the wind.

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