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(1) Party Poem


LONG / Courtney Bush & Jack Underwood

LONG / Jennifer Nelson & Jon Woodward

LONG / Christine Marella & Ian Fishman



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2 Poems by Matthew Rohrer and Ian Fishman


where the canal turns around
a boy plays with a small airplane
filled with small passengers, all of them
hiding their numbers where others cannot see
that their numbers are
secretly very boring and so worth hiding
behind, like the rules that had us kicked out
of the little restaurant on the canal, the guy told us
what we intended could not be done
which was sad – we wanted coffee and a scone
and directions to the glowing orb
and the fountain of lions puking
light into the morning
and the bridge to the mountain was closed for maintenance


off the coast a biplane flew by trailing a banner
telling me you wanted to break up
I thought about it for a little while on the jetty
as tiny crabs with one large claw seemed to dance
further and further away and seabirds were there
to stand in for arguments both for and against
the sky not being enough, or the sky more than
me being enough for you, who clearly thought I was not enough
I ran my hands along the water I was so upset
and slowly ate all the photos of us together, in little bites
then big bites then hyperventilating in a paper bag on an airplane
next to a man reading The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
he asked me if I had seen a ghost in real life before
and I said Yeah I'm looking right at one

A note about the collaboration:


We decided to write sonnets
because we had something to prove
about being poets who wrote sonnets.
Every day for the entire spring and summer
we emailed one another lines of poems
and what that does is start a cascade
of lines and it was so good feeling.
That energy carried over throughout the day.
We tried writing lines that were odd to confuse each other
but it turns out we are very similar
and for that reason the writing was not hard.
If you prefer to think of art as being made by individuals
we have journeyed here today to disappoint you.
Art is not made by individuals.

Matthew Rohrer is the author of lots of books including ARMY OF GIANTS forthcoming from Wave Books. He teaches at NYU and lives in Brooklyn.

Ian Fishman was a Goldwater Fellow at NYU. He is an editor for Copenhagen and his chapbook is I Wish I Had A Car To Name (les pétroglyphes, 2022).

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