LEMON HOUND

More Bite Than Bark Since 2005
How Poems Work
Adam Sol on David B. Goldstein: Laws of Rest

Adam Sol on David B. Goldstein: Laws of Rest

LAWS OF REST Examine your clothing before going out, for you may be carrying something without knowing it. Do not place a wick into a bowl of oil, for then the oil will be drawn up and you will promote burning. Do not light with cedar bast or uncombed flax. Are you Nahum the Mede? So...
Christine Miscione on John Berryman: The Dream Songs

Christine Miscione on John Berryman: The Dream Songs

DREAM SONG 4 Filling her compact & delicious body with chicken páprika, she glanced at me twice. Fainting with interest, I hungered back and only the fact of her husband & four other people kept me from springing on her or falling at her little feet and crying ‘You are the hottest one for years...
J'Lyn Chapman on Wallace Stevens

J’Lyn Chapman on Wallace Stevens

WAVING ADIEU, ADIEU, ADIEU That would be waving and that would be crying, Crying and shouting and meaning farewell, Farewell in the eyes and farewell at the centre, Just to stand still without moving a hand. In a world without heaven to follow, the stops Would be endings, more poignant than partings, profounder, And that...
Elisa Gabbert on Karen Green’s Bough Down

Elisa Gabbert on Karen Green’s Bough Down

Bough Down, Karen Green. Siglio, 2013. by Elisa Gabbert In comedy, a “callback” is a joke that makes reference to an earlier joke, to “build audience rapport.” In Bough Down, a hybrid collection you might call prose poetry, lyric essay, or memoir in verse, writer/artist Karen Green employs a constant calling back not for comic effect,...
Jaime Lee Kirtz on Juliana Spahr

Jaime Lee Kirtz on Juliana Spahr

Gentle Now, Don’t Add to Heartache I. We come into the world. We come into the world and there it is. The sun is there. The brown of the river leading to the blue and the brown of the ocean is there. Salmon and eels are there moving between the brown and the brown and...
M. K. Sukach on William Stafford

M. K. Sukach on William Stafford

Passing Remark In scenery I like flat country. In life I don’t like much to happen. In personalities I like mild colorless people. And in colors I prefer gray and brown. My wife, a vivid girl from the mountains, says, “Then why did you choose me?” Mildly I lower my brown eyes— there are so...
Yerra Sugarman on Paul Celan

Yerra Sugarman on Paul Celan

Death Fugue Black milk of daybreak we drink it at sundown we drink it at noon in the morning we drink it at night we drink and we drink it we dig a grave in the breezes there one lies unconfined A man lives in the house he plays with the serpents he writes he...
Sarah Burgoyne on Stacy Doris

Sarah Burgoyne on Stacy Doris

Doris: the muscular work Time’s a free illusion of right’s triumph, of reward, which cordons, Of justice, meaning boundaries; bound. Where law’s unruly or limitless Respect may be owed perhaps, but at length. Taxing or toxic, continuity’s Sealed in meager endurance. Finite since unbased, having no source. So that if we’s could forget entitlement, I...

Deborah Poe on Megan Burns

to mother as an aid to memory You become a different person than you thought, some intimate animal falling over itself. These bones build a holy sepulcher for blessed days. More doused in the litter of being human, what we think we need to survive as a species seems to supplant survival. Some other earth...
Elisa Gabbert, The Poneme: Farrah Field’s Dioramas

Elisa Gabbert, The Poneme: Farrah Field’s Dioramas

There are states of heightened awareness in which the smallest stimulus can set you off—when nervous or frightened, when being tickled, during laughing fits. Farrah Field’s poems create worlds this taut, trembling with tension; reading them, you enter such a state, you are inclined to hold your breath. Field’s second book, Wolf and Pilot (Four...
Michael Redhill on W.S. Merwin

Michael Redhill on W.S. Merwin

GATE BY W.S. MERWIN Once I came back to the leaves just as they were falling into the rattling of magpies and the waving flights through treetops beyond the long field tawny with stubble a scatter of sheep wandered there circling slowly as a galaxy ferrying the grey lights that were theirs wading into their...

Ken Babstock on John Degen

HOW POEMS WORK KEN BABSTOCK Reluctance BY JOHN DEGEN from the air, the city cloaks itself in nature, patchy, black-green forests and empty roads beyond the runway fence, the blood-brown metal capsules of abandoned turbo-props; curious long-limbed dogs watch us from a fuselage, bowing noses to their feet, eyes shifting to each other and back...
Nicholas Papaxanthos on Dean Young

Nicholas Papaxanthos on Dean Young

Dean Young’s Word Triplets We could say that there is a narrative to these three words: brick, blood-drop, red feather, which entails the passage from inert material to mortal flesh to a sort of avian/angelic possibility, or we could say that what holds those things together is their redness. I try to be alert to...
Michael Redhill on Margaret Avison

Michael Redhill on Margaret Avison

TWO POEMS BY MARGARET AVISON APRIL Dark like a handful of cool gray silk. Clocks strike the hour. Out in the clear-gleaming sky a robin’s song, silence unravelling. The trees with tremulous-aching fingers shaping the quiet airflow. Sick-faint dark limp in the arms of the infinite. CROWD CORALLING Hard rain. the bean-mash smell. leaky tin-brim...
Lisa Robertson on John Clare

Lisa Robertson on John Clare

Emmonsail’s Heath in Winter BY JOHN CLARE I love to see the old heath’s withered brake Mingle its crimpled leaves with furze and ling, While the old heron from the lonely lake Starts slow and flaps his melancholy wing, And oddling crow in idle motions swing On the half rotten ashtree’s topmost twig, Beside whose...
Lisa Robertson on Denise Riley

Lisa Robertson on Denise Riley

In 1970 BY DENISE RILEY the eyes of the girls are awash with violets pansies are flowering under their tongues they are grouped by the edge of the waves and are anxious to swim; each one is on fire with passion to achieve herself. –From Selected Poems (Reality Street Editions, 2000) Here is a clear fragment broken...
Susannah M. Smith on Walter Benjamin

Susannah M. Smith on Walter Benjamin

Peering into Walter Benjamin’s Archive I don’t know you, WB. I don’t know you at all. I’m thinking of the way people seem to hear about you serendipitously, repeatedly. I’m thinking of the leather suitcase that disappeared after you died, its contents alleged but never located: postcards, a manuscript, a pipe, morphine. You are gone...
Ken Babstock on Paul Muldoon

Ken Babstock on Paul Muldoon

HOW POEMS WORK KEN BABSTOCK   Hay By Paul Muldoon   This much I know. Just as I’m about to make that right turn off Province Line Road I meet another beat-up Volvo carrying a load   of hay. (More accurately, a bale of lucerne on the roof rack, a bale of lucerne or fescue...
Michael Redhill on Lisa Robertson

Michael Redhill on Lisa Robertson

Click on poem to advance. Monday — From The Weather, New Star Books (2001) And poetry can also be sculpture, or at least more like sculpture than it’s like conversation. Lisa Robertson’s Monday , from her collection The Weather, is a poem that defies immediate analysis, although even the most perplexed reader will still be able to state a...
Lisa Robertson on Peter Culley

Lisa Robertson on Peter Culley

The Provisions BY PETER CULLEY Between the storms of October And the storms of March the deep, wide trench Of this afternoon, one of a series making up This temporal lapse, this interregnum In which we are involved. Ignorant as I am I hardly dare to speak of it, But the fabric of its projection...
Ken Babstock on Glyn Maxwell

Ken Babstock on Glyn Maxwell

PORTOBELLO by Glyn Maxwell When you were the one reading My palm, in the second hour of our one life, And I, sitting back for good and noticing white stuff Suddenly falling on Portobello and staying, You couldn’t for all the books in the world have learned More than one watching us, Who buttered his...
Ken Babstock on Helen Humphreys

Ken Babstock on Helen Humphreys

Installation BY HELEN HUMPHREYS What we make doesn’t recover from us. Twisted scaffold, trellis of rust. This is how we will be gone. The steel hull grinning with rivets. Shiny notes of chrome swinging from the stave of the wrecker’s wall. Those we loved and nothing for that. The moon a chalk circle over dark...
Lisa Robertson on Dionne Brand

Lisa Robertson on Dionne Brand

In another place, not here, a woman might touch something between beauty and nowhere, back there and here, might pass hand over hand her own trembling life, but I have tried to imagine a sea not bleeding, a girl’s glance full as a verse, a woman growing old and never crying to a radio hissing...
How Poems Work: Ken Babstock on David O'Meara

How Poems Work: Ken Babstock on David O’Meara

Field-Crossing by DAVID O’MEARA The clover’s razed; the ground is autumn-hard. The land bristles in a ragged frame. I’m on the far end, watching weightless clouds hastened by wind, the day dark but huge with a muscled rustling. A hydro pole impales the midriff of the field — a world-tree ripe with announcements; a pivot staking...
Ken Babstock on Les Murray

Ken Babstock on Les Murray

PIGS by Les Murray Us all on sore cement was we. Not warmed then with glares. Not glutting mush under that pole the lightning’s tied to. No farrow-shit in milk to make us randy. Us back in cool god-shit. We ate crisp. We nosed up good rank in the tunnelled bush. Us all fuckers then....