Thursday Dec 14

RobinsMichael Michael Robins is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently In Memory of Brilliance & Value (Saturnalia Books, 2015). He teaches literature and creative writing at Columbia College Chicago. For more information, visit his website, hereIn Memory of Brilliance & Value can be purchased here.
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from Square Etiquette


Dear Hadara,

What letter enters
within a day & leaves?
By any name, a river

divides two shore-
lines like a formality,
a great, hued stream.

Some cardinal flew—
in so doing, my morning
grew all handsome.

I will try my hands
as though for you
they were three.


Dear Hadara,

Our own unrelenting
flesh, the little death.
I thought the afternoon

different— Was, as any
other, somewhat nodding
& somewhat borrowed.

If, from some distance,
splinted chimneys pledge
a happy life, must we

comply? We each deny
la petite mort, even as
we succumb, one by one.


Dear Hadara,

Heard after the show
a rumor, a cathedral’s
first anchored stone.

To protect happiness,
shooed my older self
at the shore. No good—

Songs I’d never love
reside now under glass,
deep inside museums.

Otherwise by a hair,
my dead weight hangs
on the nail of a door.




[lift, drink water that carves these falls]


lift, drink water that carves these falls       ankle crossing ankle      
remove your clothes       you’re little for a little while       then you
point the boat and go       who else do I tell this zoo in the air      
invisible maw       our old lives in a new shoe       Magellan
rethinking his travels       after the after-voyage       faces bark
under the galaxy named for him       other willing spirals       or
flawed       some medium, flightless bird       with who else do I
indulge this guessing game       weather to expose       I hope
you’re a bean inside a jar       any instrument in a cloud-shaped bag