Winter 1983 • Vol. V No. 1 Poetry |

The Lines

Jean answers. Bob isn't home. But would I like Arlene to say hello?   Great. Prime-time long-distance rates and I have to wait while Arlene decides if the receiver is something to put her voice in, or something, like her foot, to put in her mouth and slobber affectionately over. The many patiences, the faiths, the fantastical messageways, of communication! The phone a fuse for voice-explosion. Sonar, radar, the inches between a fetus's declamatory chickpea of a heart and the ob-gyn stethoscope. The hung-up phone a halved earthworm. And then one day its hum growing whole again. Arlene Lietz thinking hard, for all of us. Cookie? Does one say cookie into this thing?   Columbus, having discovered Cuba and after that Haiti, where the Chinamen sucked "cylinders called tabacos and, as it were, drank the smoke," where he dispensed the largesse of glass beads, where the fort called Navidad was constructed from planks of the coral-grounded Santa Maria---Columbus boarded the

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Albert Goldbarth has been publishing collections of poetry for over four decades, two of which two have received the National Book Critics Circle Award. His latest, Selfish, was published by Graywolf Press in May 2015. He tests his patience by living in Wichita, Kansas.

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Wrist Beep

By Albert Goldbarth

Jean answers. Bob isn't home. But would I like Arlene to say hello?   Great. Prime-time long-distance rates and I have to wait while Arlene decides if the receiver is […]

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