Najwan Darwish (translated from the Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid)
Your name's like a ship with no hope of arriving, no hope of returning— It never arrives, and it never returns. It never arrives, and it never goes under.
from the journal Action Books

In our series “Language as Form,” we invited poets to write about poetic language as patterned language—how words as sound, voice, sentence, and song become elements of form.

Petra Kuppers on "Split/Screen"
Photo: Petra Kuppers
Jim Whiteside
a little point of ignition, a place where it wanted to burn
Petra Kuppers
Hip bones sink and anchor on wood. Light rhythms paint the window. My gullet is empty, endless, a void slick with ground glass festers into pain, pulls me into time river, moonlight sucks down to snow.
Marilyn Chin
I finger my butterfly lute I strum my fated plectrum Striking the same       fret       fret       fret Summoning the museum of heaven
Lisa Kelly
My direct stare — a direct invitation of sorts for a kiss.
Omotara James
                    I still lay my temple across a cool surface, splay my troubles atop a tiled floor. Limbs like I'm seven again, naked from the waist, beneath my mother's steady hand and long silver scissors.

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