May/June 2022 • Vol. XLIV No. 3 Nature’s NatureMay 16, 2022 |

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The soul sits beside its box of oranges. The century goes along, the tyranny, the dazzle, the executions of butterflies —  life molecules make memory shapes, adorned broken or blunted . . . the replica of the virus looks like a Christmas ornament from Walmart. Some days you could barely read. Some days you wrote from your strangeness. Some days, you imitated those who imitate you . . . A pressure mounts through chaos. The protein takes down human systems & you are somehow supposed to make art of dreams or childhood, of history’s injustice or love so here you are in a room by yourself & they’ve left you with a spoon & a pencil: Just try to eat with this pencil, they said. Now try to write with the spoon. But the breath between numbers will never run out, & you know that you know that you know so there’s that & the minutes pass, each odder than the next (o

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Brenda Hillman has published chapbooks with Penumbra Press, a+bend press, and EmPress; she is the author of eight full-length collections from Wesleyan University Press, the most recent of which are Pieces of Air in the Epic (2005) and Practical Water (2009). With Patricia Dienstfrey, she edited The Grand Permission: New Writings on Poetics and Motherhood (Wesleyan, 2003). Hillman teaches at St. Mary’s College of California where she is the Olivia C. Filippi Professor of Poetry; she is an activist for social and environmental justice and lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

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Escape & Energy

By Brenda Hillman

The soul sits beside its box of oranges. The century goes along, the tyranny, the dazzle, the executions of butterflies —  life molecules make memory shapes, adorned broken or blunted . […]

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By Brenda Hillman

The soul sits beside its box of oranges. The century goes along, the tyranny, the dazzle, the executions of butterflies —  life molecules make memory shapes, adorned broken or blunted . […]

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