Is It May Again?

Toshiko Hirata (translated from the Japanese by Eric E. Hyett and Spencer Thurlow)
Was the weather murderous or did branches betray their blossoms? Of the pathetic corpses that once covered the ground, not one petal remains. Gone, like nothing ever happened.
from the book Is It Poetry? / Deep Vellum

In our series Other Arts, we’ve invited poets to write about their experiences with other art forms and how those experiences have resulted in the making of poetry.

Katie Peterson on "The Fire Map"
Photo: Katie Peterson
James Allen Hall
My mother said she would have aborted me, but the clinic was closed. When whales abandon a grieving mother, she does not find kindness again. Some lives are taken down to salt, some to water.
Sahar Muradi
Father learned exile by television And this was wartime. Mother washed. I sat quietly with a tin Full of pictures. Night drew.
Nirwan Dewanto (translated from the Indonesian by John H. McGlynn)
All eyeballs dipped in the vinegar of the bourgeoisie will become pickled eyeballs. Tonight I embrace my homeland. Being blind would not matter as long as I could give my eyeballs to you.
Katie Peterson
Incidents on the wane turn a darker green. The map disappears five years after they make it. Twelve years ago was awful— now it's gone. You'd have to talk to someone who lived through those fires to find out what burned. In no year does this map record our smoke.
Su Cho
Every time I see something cool and point it out to someone it sneaks behind a building, shrinks itself, camera-shy So I will capture it here—

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