The Cortland Review

Gerald Stern
Five poems by Gerald Stern.

Christopher Buckley
Michael Burkard
Jeff Friedman
Ross Gay
Jack Gilbert This marks an author's first online publication
Linda Gregg
Jane Hirshfield
Tony Hoagland
Joan Larkin
Dorianne Laux
Jan Heller Levi
Anne Marie Macari
Ed Ochester
Alicia Ostriker
Kathleen Peirce This marks an author's first online publication
Peter Richards
Ira Sadoff
Jean Valentine
Arthur Vogelsang This marks an author's first online publication
Judith Vollmer
Anne Waldman
Peter Waldor
Michael Waters This marks an author's first online publication
"The Final Vocabulary of Gerald Stern" by David Rigsbee.

Book Review
"Save the Last Dance" by Gerald Stern—Book Review, by David Rigsbee.

Tony Hoagland

Tony Hoagland's collection of essays about poetry and craft, Real Sofistikashun, will was published by Graywolf Press in 2006. His third book of poems, What Narcissism Means to Me, was published in 2003 by Graywolf. A chapbook, Hard Rain, is available from Hollyridge Press on Amazon. New book coming in one year. He teaches at the University of Houston and in the Warren Wilson College low residency M.F.A. program.

Continuing Contributions of American Poetry    

E.E. Cummings invented the pocket t-shirt in 1924.
—It was just after the war, & men needed
a place to keep their brand-new packs of cigarettes

while mowing the lawns of their little stucco houses.
Robert Frost invented the push lawn mower,
and the popcorn popper, and
corduroy slacks for men--that was in early '45, or was it '46?

In the backyard, it was common to see 2.2 kids
and a dog named Kaiser chasing a ball
into the path of the first automobile,
made in Detroit by cousins of Phillip Levine.

In the kitchen, a woman was pulling a pie
from a big white oven. Later the suburbs
would come to seem like prison camps
surrounded by barbed wire,

a place housewives needed to break out of;
that's when Adrienne Rich came to the rescue
with her Tunnel-Digging Kit for Claustrophobic Mothers, and
her backyard home-assembly feminist catapult device.

America would be in trouble again,
and American poetry would be there with solutions,
but right then it was a easy spot to be

in American history—a blue sky above you,
a deep drag of health-giving cigarette smoke,
110 percent of tobacco satisfaction,

and a very convenient place to put it out in,
this 20th century beige ceramic ashtray,
invented by that American wizard, Gerald Stern.



© 2008 The Cortland Review