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.

Jan Heller Levi

Jan Heller Levi is currently working on her third collection of poems, after having published Skyspeak (LSU, 2005) and Once I Gazed at you In Wonder (LSU, 1999), which won the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets. She is also the editor of A Muriel Rukeyser Reader (W.W. Norton, 1995) and co-editor, with Sara Miles, of Directed by Desire: The Collected Poems of June Jordan (Copper Canyon Press, 2005). She teaches at Hunter College in New York City.

Like Every Summer    

You can instruct but not command the heart.
She is a masculine thing, and goes where she
Wants. This summer I led her to water
She would not drink, and like Dorothy Parker's
Whore, she would think about the ideas
I’d pre-selected for her. I wanted
To give you a book of my years,
Every slight and substance of my life.
Not as metaphor but as synecdoche
(That delicious clonking term) for everyone's
Life. Get it? She didn't. What can I say?
Like every summer, she jots down my directions,
Nods, slips them in her pocket,
Waves her thanks, then goes her own way.



© 2008 The Cortland Review