“I never knew who he killed all those years, but I knew who he tried to save…”
Grant Clauser, winner of the 2016 Cider Press Review Editors’ Prize, and one of our 2016 Pushcart nominees, sat down with us (digitally) to discuss his new book and what it means to him to be a good poet and a good man.
A father’s “red-faced and screaming” attempt at love reminds his daughter of a familiar fairy tale.
Steven Sanchez recalls tenderness with a Deaf lover–“In American Sign Language /I am a single star /above his head, looking /down at the years /that pass inside his fists.”
In the midst of American/Russian tension, Scott Hightower recalls the poisoning of a former FSB agent who publicly accused Putin of atrocities.
“The dark is bigger than we think, /a slow crawl of sticky hair in the drain.” But we’ll get used to it.
A prison visit prompts unease, two men “Groping /for pleasantries. Discovering none.”
Spring is here, and with it comes desire– “As when a boy, immersed /in the atmosphere of his parents’ vacation, /drives 20 miles to meet a girl /and there, in the garden shed…”
Brian Beatty’s surreal poem taps into something unconscious and unexpected.
Walter Holland’s look back to gay ’70s NYC–and the AIDS epidemic that followed–is not just “a moment /of intimacy or humiliation or /uncontained desire”–it’s all of those things.
“Even a love that fails /has done its job, /has instilled in its hosts /a definition of loneliness /worth sharing and worth /dying towards.”
A threesome with a stranger brings a couple closer together.
Guinotte Wise conjures rebels, roadhouses, and sex.
Ben Berman considers stone hearts and perspective, “how a thing can so readily re-present itself with an entirely new meaning.”
A father’s dying wisdom to the son he never really knew–“Remember how I said /we should run or be eaten. /I kept running and I take it all back.”
Steven Sanchez’s poem expertly navigates childhood abuse and adult love. Rarely does a poem so successfully convey both pain and tenderness.