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Michael Tyrell's "Delicatessen" in Best American Poetry!

TIR staff

Michael Tyrell's poem "Delicatessen" from our Spring 2014 issue has been selected by guest editor Sherman Alexie for Best American Poetry 2015


(after Hurricane Sandy & 3 nights of no power)

In the delicatessen a last avocado.
Black, pulpy—a kind of soft grenade. 

I set it down 
for probably nobody. 

I step out—not through doors
but through clear plastic tatters
shimmering in a doorframe. 

Hothouse roses on the shelves outside;
hyacinths in foiled cups. 


Calling storms by dumb names—
not the shabbiest way of neutering disaster, 
I think. 

          Like the pit bull called Cuddles, 
the Lovers’ Lane near the sewage treatment plant— 

Lacy M. Johnson's THE OTHER SIDE

Sarah Viren

When I saw Lacy Johnson read from her new memoir, she came right out with it. “No one says what this book is about,” she said. Then she told us.

The Other Side (Tin House Books, 2014) is about the day that Lacy’s ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and took her to a soundproof room he had built for the sole purpose of raping and killing her. He raped her and then left briefly to create an alibi for that night. He told her that when he returned, “I’ll shoot you in the cunt and then the head.”

Remembering Philip Levine

TIR Staff

Today we're remembering former U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Levine (1928-2015). An alumnus of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he was a frequent contributor to The Iowa Review in its early years, publishing the following poem in our Spring 1978 issue; we offer it here in gratitude and memoriam.

Let Me Be

He left us the same way he lived—with a gentle smile: Tomaž Šalamun in memoriam

Aleš Debeljak

It was Wednesday afternoon, and I had shown up at the door of the apartment on the second floor of number 11 Dalmatin Street in Ljubljana for a short visit. I sat for a while at the bedside of my dying friend, who lay beneath some big, evocative canvases painted by Metka Krašovec, his life companion, inspiration and helpmate, an artist of surfaces, colors and lines. Although the speech of the 73-year-old poet had already taken on muted tones, this was a perfectly distinct whisper, expressing affection and framed in a smile. I slid a few drops of water onto his faintly parched lips and stroked his cheek, which was as flawlessly smooth-shaven as ever. I gave him a kiss on the forehead and said goodbye.


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