Contributions by Rowan Ricardo PhillipsRowan Ricardo Phillips is a poet, essayist, and translator. His book The Ground, won the 2013 GLCA New Writers Award for Poetry. His other books include When Blackness Rhymes with Blackness, and a translation from the Catalan of Salvador Espriu's Ariadne in the Grotesque Labyrinth. Phillips has taught at Harvard and Columbia and is currently Associate Professor of English at Stony Brook University, where he directs the Poetry Center. He is the recipient of the 2013 PEN Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry.
TO AN OLD FRIEND IN PARIS
I haven’t seen the ghost of your mother.
But I have seen your poems about the ghost
Of your mother as she brushes by you
Near the Seine, or as Linda Gregerson,
Or in the unseen acts guiding those poems
About the ghost of your mother, that chill
As you write that withers into something
Lithe, words for the weather suddenly flush
With lavender and salt, barked line breaks hush,
The poem opening like an ear pressed
Against the cold, clicking door of a safe.
Day comes to dark caves but darkness remains.
And the only way then to know a truth
Is to squint in its direction and poke.
LUCAS AND MARK
I sit sandwiched between two Chuck Closes:
Luckless “Lucas,” made up of small fat dots
Bursting against black-backgrounded colors,
His unkempt hair, unkempt beard, unkempt stare
Shot past the small bench between him and “Mark.”
No one in … Read More »