Fall 1991 • Vol. XIII No. 4 Poetry |

Generation

             after Akhmatova Matter smashed-Atomic Age America—being issued, dawn's desert light blinding blue. Kaiser Aluminumspouts luminous brass vaporsat the bottom of the steaming valley. Reality depends (rumor has itin The Cafe Society Downtown)what you look at. Realityin the woman's mind: her lover,before he died, must have seena whole city quivering, blossomingfire-bombs, pink and bright green.It depends how you look at it, phantasmagorical United States; yet an astute observer perceives melancholy anger on the faces of exhausted strikers resembleslooks of workers Diego Rivera cartooned in his Detroit Industryfresco from the Thirties.  Mildly opaque Indian summer sun  a newly broken painted colt   out of control scents alfalfa   twisted by winds over land not yet  disfigured by bankruptcy. Circling   snow beyond a forested slope  from up above a whirlwind blows   horizontally against an ancient man  walking

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Lawrence Joseph is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Into It and Codes, Precepts, Biases, and Taboos: Poems 1973–1993, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. His sixth book of poems, So Where Are We?, is forthcoming from FSG in August 2017. He is also the author of two books of prose, Lawyerland (FSG) and The Game Changed: Essays and Other Prose, published by the University of Michigan Press in its Poets on Poetry Series. He is Tinnelly Professor of Law at St. John’s University School of Law and lives in New York City.

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Of What We Know Now

By Lawrence Joseph

             after Akhmatova Matter smashed-Atomic Age America—being issued, dawn's desert light blinding blue. Kaiser Aluminumspouts luminous brass vaporsat the bottom of the steaming valley. Reality depends (rumor has itin The Cafe […]

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