Songs in the Grass

By Hayden Church "Lake Suwa in Shinano Province" by Katsushika Hokusai, c. 1830-1832 Daring countryside,Poking snake headsEntombed in weeds—Orchids surviving still,Placid and historic.And even the chicksAre out now, dancingTo a song in the grassThat says, I hear God.Pondside insects hiddenBy volumes of rainingPetals of leaves to beRaked by the followingBreeze into the rippling,Humming body—A fish, … Continue reading Songs in the Grass


By Ted Metrakas Selection from "Bacchus and Ariadne" by Titian, 1520-1523 Ariadne is the horizon.Her smile is the earth itself smiling.That is what the horizon is,The earth’s smile to itself. Just as the earth smiles to itself, so tooDoes Ariadne. Why does she smile?As the earth smiles,A world is opened — that’s the horizon.The horizon is … Continue reading Horizon

Two Diptychs

By Roddy O'Hare "Grotesque" by Roddy O'Hare, 2017       I.Our modern grotto —BacklitBy damp eastern genii —Closed door blushing To be splitBy some arcade hand of Sugarcane — And skipping past  Walls will lay ashy Finger vain Down to unbreatheThe word —Basement ponds flickerShards of slicker oil And curdClotted, unfixed findsA soundUnheard by skin —           II.By cherry treeBoundRivering bodies TwineIn grounded soul In plasticine hand … Continue reading Two Diptychs


By Ulysse Bouchard "Girls Dancing Around An Obelisk" by Hubert Robert, 1798 I’ve desired, and a symbol, less than a symbol; a sign has sufficed. Sometimes less: something to pursue, a movement, a gaze, a line, a wait, at last a doubt, sliding along the faces of the lakes — a question mark. Like the … Continue reading Outside

Three Poems from a Chicago Winter

By Christian Mack "Orpheus Charming the Animals" by Peregrino da Cesena, 1490-1510 I.The heart sings a song of black diamonds— Beauty, nature-crafted, ephemeral, barely lingering— Onyx rose, glinting obsidian thorns; and Orpheus twirling among the petals, twirling in crimson, twirling in shade, rapturous vertigo, Grace-- how has she come to be so sharp? And how … Continue reading Three Poems from a Chicago Winter