May/June 2021 • Vol. XLIII No. 3 Poetry |

Some New-Century Pliny Bent Over a Map

bent over a map reconvenes human knowledge with a gavel, remeasures the shrinking bestiary: birds, this percent gone; then mammals, that percent and still subtracting, flames or no flames. Books rot in the stacks. Who listens to the dead? Just wind and dust and lost creatures now: the Tasmanian tiger and dusky flying fox, the rufous bristlebird, Gould’s mouse and so on and on and more, the world’s sleep dark-dreams smoke smoke smoke fire fire fire water water no water Add the Threatened, add the No-Longer-Rivers, add It’s blood all over the earth out there— Add music, whose main bony structures are pause and repeat. Like Chaplin in the old movie orders one bean for cheap, napkin at his throat, cutting in half, in fourths, in eighths the one bean given, eternal graying afternoon through the café window. Add “and yet—” Saddest phrase in English, it’s been told and retold and I’ve said on repeat as if language begins in regret and a warning last thing in t

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Divers on Film

By Marianne Boruch

bent over a map reconvenes human knowledge with a gavel, remeasures the shrinking bestiary: birds, this percent gone; then mammals, that percent and still subtracting, flames or no flames. Books […]

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