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Nicole Cuddeback


The New Husband


At sundown bats flurry round the rooftops

like flustered angels.  Blessing isn't easy.


As a child in the soup of the Gulf,

how the mouths of fish bumped along my shin.


The lingering of those slick forms at the skin's verge

seemed like a grace, a border world tapping


for that thing alone in the body.  Tonight I see

it's solitude I've forgotten.  Without it


the loneliness brims.  The shipwreck sun dips

as the doors of the drab balconies open


like night blooms, and the bats sort their black-outs

of divine and diverge.  Whatever it is they do


they let it look like recklessness.

Lashing the dusk to the fish-boned crosses


of antennas trolling the heavens, the bats veer

around the wire as if reeling in


on pieces of cages.  Jagged wounds retraced

all night, nearly touched, nearly crashed through to.


Tonight I'm raw as the twilight, craving

crash.  Wholeness.  Blunder of some featherless wing.


Son of Medea   


Sunlight sang through the thick door's crack.

            And I heard her words,

                         yet chose not to wake my brother,


the one content to toss his ball

            eternally.  Sad

                         is what they called me, wandering


the streets far as I was allowed,

            and then I would go

                         one more.  Both mother and father,


but more mother, dark of eye, hand.

             My face hers, they said.

                         Unworried, forgetful brother,


sleep on.  Your death is dead.  Mine spreads,

             ravels like spring clouds.

                         Mother/father, sky/field, wave/rock,


when will men see how unions are

             impossible, birth

                         proof of nothing, no link of life.


Small likeness, but hollow.  Circle

             around the failure

                         to incarnate.  Imaginings


can't agree with flesh.  Father went.

             How could we have lived?

                         Invalid promises.  He'd bring


toys: stuffed, golden lambs of wool-scrap

             sewn to suck at love,

                         kiss-worn, stitch-lip feigning, teaching


what it is to love fleece borne to

             hearth fire.  We're the scorch

                        of dislodged bones, the joint dissolved.


Mother, Father survive, wither,

             wander.  Forever

                        children, we live in death's black nut,


gardens at night.  No ichor here.

             I'm gift gown, burnt crown,

                        wrath's volume, passion's girth.  Canyons


for a gut, a child of divorce,

             a grave.  But the clouds

                        I waved arms I could not move.  Wisps


of shaggy cirrus couched our craft.

             As if drowsed, I strained

                        to admire the jade sun-dragons,


the approving blue of the sky,

             to sit up, reach for

                        those splendid serpents!  Mother's arm


cradled my small back; I could not

            feel it there.  Pretty,

                        feathery sun ramyes, my death


was radiantdazzling spiral

            of horns, you came late.

                        Now I'm alone.  The beguiling


symbols gone.  I am no longer

            damned as their love.  Freed

                        from belief in what cannot be.


                    -from The Saint of Burning Down




Kim Addonizio 03-14-08


Agha Shahid Ali 09-14-07


Alice Anderson 11-16-08


Renee Ashley 04-10-2010


Christianne Balk 07-27-07


Brian Barker 07-07-07


Polina Barskova 09-13-2010


Bruce Beasley 11-22-08


Nicky Beer 09-06-2010


Nicky Beer 08-22-08


Nathaniel Bellows 04-27-09


Ciaran Berry 01-25-09


Linda Bierds 08-31-07


Kristin Bock 08-17-09


Bruce Bond 02-18-2012


John Bradley 03-12-2012


Brian Brodeur 03-29-09


Michelle Boisseau 09-20-2010 


Sophie Cabot Black 03-26-2012


Anne Caston 09-24-09


Anne Caston 02-27-2011


Elizabeth Biller Chapman 01-25-08


Nicole Cooley 04-05-09


Stephen Cramer 02-14-2011


Nicole Cuddeback 03-07-08


Steve Davenport 03-29-2010


Cortney Davis 05-03-09


Todd Davis 11-01-2010


James Dickey 03-12-2012


Stephen Dobyns 02-26-2012


Elizabeth Dodd 09-05-08


Karen Donovan 04-15-07


Mark Doty 04-11-08


Stephen Dunn 11-09-02010


Lynn Emanuel 08-30-2010


Lynnell Edwards 11-22-2010


B. H. Fairchild  09-04-09


Elyse Fenton 04-25-2011


Nick Flynn 01-28-2012


Nick Flynn 10-04-2010


Rachel Contreni Flynn 04-10-2011


Carolyn Forche 09-21-07


Carrie Fountain 03-21-2011


James Galvin 02-23-07


Margaret Gibson 01-24-10


Mary Jo Firth Gillett 02-22-08


Dana Gioia 08-23-2010


Eugene Gloria 09-20-08


Louise Gluck 03-17-2010


Kevin Goodan 08-29-08


Matthew Graham 11-28-2010


Robert Grunst 11-16-07


Bruce Guernsey 9-13-2011


Elizabeth Hadaway 06-15-07


John Haines 11-01-2011


Donald Hall 02-10-07


Sarah Hannah 11-25-2011


C. G. Hanzlicek 04-23-2012


Jeff Hardin 08-10-07


Elizabeth Haukaas 09-13-2011


Brooks Haxton 03-08-10


Seamus Heaney 09-11-09


Jamey Hecht 12-05-2010


Bob Hicok 10-25-2011



Andrew Hudgins 11-21-09


Lynda Hull 05-20-07


Henry Israeli 01-23-2011


Major Jackson 05-02-2010


Mark Jarman 10-19-08


Rodney Jones 10-26-09


Barbara Jordan 02-02-09


Ilya Kaminsky 11-18-2011


Daniel Khalastchi 8-30-2011


Brigit Pegeen Kelly 10-12-08


Jane Kenyon 04-01-07


Suji Kwock Kim 11-09-2011

 James Kimbrell 04-07-2010

James Kimbrell 01-19-07


Galway Kinnell 11-09-07


Yusef Komunyakaa 07-15-07


Phil Levine 06-03-07


Eleanor Lerman 11-02-08


Larry Levis 04-04-08


Larry Levis 02-08-2010


Lisa Lewis 02-11-2012


Sandy Longhorn 04-26-08


Corey Marks 10-03-07


Adrian Matejka 04-18-08


Davis McCombs 01-18-08


Jeffrey McDaniel 10-08-2011


Michael McGriff 02-22-09


Jay Meek 01-16-2010


Anne Michaels 01-18-09


Nils Michals 02-29-08


Keith Montesano 12-12-2010


Malena Morling 05-12-08


Simone Muench 02-08-08


Sharon Olds 02-22-07


Sharon Olds 10-19-07


Michael Ondaatje 02-01-2010


Eric Pankey 09-07-07


Gregory Pardlo 06-22-07


Ed Pavlic 09-28-07


Oliver de la Paz 02-15-2010


Lucia Perillo 12-04-09


Catherine Pierce 04-18-2011


Jon Pineda 04-09-2012


Donald Platt 02-15-08


Joshua Poteat 03-13-2011


Joshua Poteat 11-3-09


Wyatt Prunty 02-20-2011


Dean Rader 03-07-2011


Amy Randolph 03-01-09


Robert Randolph 12-12-09


Adrienne Rich 04-20-2010


Joshua Robbins 11-16-2010


David Roderick 12-07-07


Bobby C. Rogers 02-04-2012


Pattiann Rogers 3-21-08

 Steve Scafidi 10-09-09


Jim Schley 10-19-09


Tim Seibles 10-08-07


David Shumate 10-26-08


Dave Smith 04-10-09 


Katherine Soniat 01-21-2012


Katherine Soniat 11-30-07


Gary Soto 03-23-07


Mark Sullivan 08-28-09


Mathias Svalina 04-02-2012

Frank Stanford 10-25-2010

Mark Strand 02-22-2010


Mark Svenvold 03-23-09


Robert Thomas 05-03-2011


Brian Turner 05-13-07


Joshua Vinzant 01-30-2011


Tribute to Virginia Tech 04-24-07


Connie Voisine 10-1-2011


Charles Harper Webb 10-12-07


David Wevill 03-27-2011


C.K. Williams 05-25-07


Susan B.A. Somers-Willett 06-29-07


Charles Wright 01-27-07


Robert Wrigley 10-11-2010


Robert Wrigley 08-17-07


Robert Wrigley 04-09-07


Robert Wrigley 02-03-07