January 31-February 6, 2005: Nancy Graham and Richard O’Connell

week of January 31-February 6, 2005

Nancy Graham and Richard O’Connell

click here for submission guidelines

Nancy Graham

Bio (auto)

Nancy Graham lives with her family in Kingston, New York Her poetry has been published in Chronogram, and her animations, produced in collaboration with her husband Henry Lowengard, have been exhibited at Deep Listening Space in Kingston.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Nancy Graham and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Three Somniloquies

(edited sleeptalk recorded while reading at bedtime)


(Based on an excerpt from Strangely Like War: The
Global Assault on Forests, by Derrick Jensen and George Draffan)

The forests of the world are hated
Cut, toasted, 
most of that in the past country
Mothers spun despicable
weavings off of the trees, kept
secluded in the women’s network

Females of the world are in bad shape About three quarters of the world’s spoken
guidance has been cut Much
of what remains is in three natives, 
speaking in Russian
Almost three quarters of the males
have been cut, most of that in the past
agenda The forests of the world are in lost
luggage, awkwardly at times, 
and it doesn’t seem to stop
them from falling
The forests are in deep magic Each is floating
.floating above the world of water,
about three quarters of the world’s grief.

Motionless Childhood

“Through dreams, the various dwelling
places in our lives copenetrate.”
——–-Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

Copenetrate sounds like
not a very nice term So
could be just that they merged
The serious dwelling place
seems more like a dormitory The way the kids crawl on the furniture, 
I’m glad we didn’t get new stuff
After we’re in the new house, or settled
and fancy, we travel to the land
of Motionless Childhood, 
abandoned every step of the way Can we go now?

Motionless the way all Immemorial things are,
I take off my glasses, like Mom would
What would you like to do now?
We could part, we could just cut loose,
travel to the land of Childhood,
motionless the way little tiny hands
can’t seem to get mittens
on there and keep them on,
and they destroy
things, of course Look behind you, it’s snowing!

Throughout the region,
the various dwelling places in me
and above us
retain the structure of former days,
the treasures of human days
They crick from people
too, century to century.


“As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted
on a certain place where was a den, and laid me down in that place
to sleep, and as I slept, I dreamed a dream.”

————John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress, 1678

As I walked through the wilderness
of errands, I lighted on a certain
police place, and behold, I saw a man
I figured man was a certain place where
he was a dream, and laid me down in that
place to study and behold, and if I slept, 
I dreamed a dreamier dream
The events now contain
the first hang glider’s soar I came from New York,
lighting on certain police
I made it look that sympathetic, 
or not sympathetic I was wondering
if you knew how tall you are Let’s see, 
we’re gonna measure
As I waltzed through the auditorium, 
I lightened loads of fear at times I came
on a certain place where was a dark date,
and a lump above, and Lucas found
a nightmare I can barely look at him now
As I walked through the university, I lighted
like a shimmer Should you hear them storming
up the coast, shimmer Know, I did my part
And as I slept, 
I dreamed no more.

Richard O’Connell


Richard O’Connell lives in Hillsboro Beach, Florida Collections of his poetry include RetroWorlds, Simulations, Voyages, and The Bright Tower, all published by the University of Salzburg Press (now Poetry Salzburg) His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, National Review, Margie, Acumen, The Formalist, etz His most recent collections are American Obits and Dawn Crossing.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Richard O’Connell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Canada Snaps

The heavy brick calm
capital/ invaded by light/
rouging cornices/ crumbling facades/
and shining/ twice-scrubbed streets
in slant sun/ the Rideau bubbling/  
glad to be rid of its jacket of ice

In the big green & white
Bay Company store
(where eskimos buy
cameras for furs)
I saw my first Arctic wolf
stuffed snarling at the door
No corner
so cold
on the bung
       as that blast
      to the ass
      at Bloor & Young

Like the moon
and the old miner
standing in chill
outside the CN
(jabbing the prong
of a beercan  opener
in my chest)
“Women don’t like me
As a rule
They just don ‘t

Hudson Bay
water so still
you can’t tell
the shore
from the bay
(only blind
by the chill

The French North Pole
summer climb to the cool
green up Mt Royal
imperial dime views
for the head grazing
blue granite haze
sparkling cream dome
geodesic cone
of movielot Expo
Below the real show
rubberwheeled hearsed
trains sliding down
computerized tile
digits drop
mosaiced in dream
glimpsed under glass
rock boutiques
fluorescent girls
locked underground
for the cold
eventual world
A sign

Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter: