American Poets Reading 2002

Wednesday, September 18, 2002
American Poets Reading
Jenny A. Burkholder, Deborah Cummins, Janice Harrington, and John Mann


The patient was taken to the operating room
reliving 10th grade,
how they chased warm gin with milk.

– Jenny A. Burkholder, “Deconstructing the Right Breast”

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He sits beside his wife who takes the wheel.
Clutching coupons, he wanders the aisles
of Stop & Save. There’s no place he must be,
no clock to punch. Sure,
there are bass in the lake, a balsa model
in the garage, the par-three back nine.
But it’s not the same.
Time the enemy then, the enemy now.

– Deborah Cummins, “At a Certain Age”

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Evening, and all my ghosts come back to me
like red banty hens to catalpa limbs
and chicken-wired hutches, clucking, clucking,
and falling, at last, into their head-under-wing sleep.

– Janice Harrington, “Shaking the Grass”

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The body captures the rhythm. A kind
of lilt to the step. Never a tread. You
are looking for ladders to the world.
Hooks. Sometimes it is like holding on
to the strap in a swaying subway.

– John Mann, “Mr. Mann Finds a How To Manual”

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More info on Jenny A. Burkholder⇒

More info on Deborah Cummins⇒

More info on Janice Harrington⇒

More info on John Mann⇒