The Argument

Michael Waters

Tonight I think of the married couple   Living apart in distant states      Who date one night each week:They dine together via Skype,   Laptops propped on tables, each      Alone in the other’s company,Speaking of students and empathy,   Tempting one another      With plump olives and Chilean reds.Some nights, too tired to converse,   One angles the Mac before the TV      So they can view togetherAnderson Cooper or The Wire, season 3.   And so the marriage goes, each      In a state that denies their union,Each licking lips and fingertips,   Mmm the sea bass, oooh the lamb,      The distance between them lessThan the expanse between you   Wounded by words and me      Writing this roundabout apology.

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Michael  Waters

Michael Waters’s books of poetry include Celestial Joyride, Gospel Night, Darling Vulgarity, and Parthenopi: New and Selected Poems. He is the coeditor of Reel Verse: Poems about the Movies, Contemporary American Poetry, and Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing from Homer to Ali. He has chaired the poetry panel for the National Book Awards. Recipient of five Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Waters is professor of English at Monmouth University and Visiting Distinguished Professor in the Drew University MFA program. (Author photo by Annie Kim)

In the richly musical and boldly imaginative poems of The Dean of Discipline, Michael Waters explores the confluences of the sensual and the spiritual, and renders their mysteries with precision and clarity. The title evokes the rigorous consciousness that prods the artist to deepen into his craft. Line by line, Waters delivers the passionate eloquence and intensity that distinguish his poems.

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