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.

Alicia Ostriker

Alicia Ostriker has published eleven volumes of poetry, most recently No Heaven (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005), and has twice been a National Book Award finalist. She is also the author of Stealing the Language: The Emergence of Women's Poetry in America (Beacon Press, 1987), and other books of criticism.

At the Revelation Restaurant    

Ecclesiastes sits across the table
and whenever I start to whine
he starts to laugh

sometimes so heartily and suddenly
that he spills his soup—
Buddha (the waiter) looks sympathetic

I read the fine print
on his enlightenment special
reject birth get off the wheel

Mama Gaia flounces from the kitchen
exclaiming: Must we despise our bodies
just because the priests and the politicians

the professors and the corporations
the fashion industry and even Plato
all tell us to? Mama, I like my body

washing and touching itself in the bath
was the beginning, so sweet, then dancing
and kissing—too late to stop now

since I know my eyeballs and clitoris
will turn to muck or dust and the process
of death unless I am very lucky

will be painful
I intend to order
a good dinner this evening



© 2008 The Cortland Review