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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Section 6

Wesley Rothman


Cerebra Each day I toss them slip them Questions why does the language Tear not nibble each day how does it thrash What what must you feed it as offering What does it take without permission How might this robbery tear not nibble be blessing Can this seeking blessing still yield Blessing what must you feed it how have you been trained To wild this weapon wield your wildness these lethal wiles Did you notice did your sculptors Sense their tearing down their paring seek your blessing Could they have gone a life without Planting the lash why does the language tear how Was it scrawled in scar across their bodies your body By whom by them & who pummeled & planted it In the wounds of those unknowns those generations before How many letters can the body sculpt scrawl on other bodies how many Words worth even whole sentences What about punctuation what does it take does a fist Leave a period or knuckled ellipses a tongue Slide exclamations or knotted ellipses what must you feed it Is there ink in the body how will You spell your will whole sentences with the body With its vast sounds its stuttering Questions what about punctuation the hesitant lilt you laying Your body’s day in its cupboard

Wesley Rothman’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Crab Orchard Review, Harvard Review, Mississippi Review, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Vinyl, Waxwing, and the Poets on Growth Anthology, among other venues. His criticism has been featured by Callaloo, Boston Review, American Microreviews and Interviews, and Rain Taxi Review of Books. He has served Copper Canyon Press, Ploughshares, Narrative, Salamander, and Tupelo Quarterly, and teaches writing and cultural literatures throughout Boston. Recent honors include Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations, a Vermont Studio Center fellowship, and finalist standing for the Emory Poetry Fellowship and 49th Parallel Poetry Prize. His first full manuscript, SUBWOOFER, was a finalist for the Crab Orchard Poetry Series Open and First Book Competitions. Find more:


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