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.

Ira Sadoff

Ira Sadoff is the author of seven collections of poetry, most recently Barter (Univesity of Illinois Press, 2003). His book of criticism on the relationship between poetry and culture, History Matters, will be published by Iowa this spring.

While In Brooklyn

Only one person broke a bottle over your head.

You could strut, you could knock someone
off their perch, pore over their wardrobe
with wise remarks, you could steal a few notions

from the grocer. You could treat a ballfield
like a battlefield, you could scar a cheek, score
a matchbook from Mousie, steal the thunder

of the little genius and snap his pens in two.
You could hustle girls who didn't know better.
In a pinch you could deliver for the dry cleaner.

You could make sense of a block, on a good day
a half-mile square, but after that if you cross
the bridge to the marsh that's a swamp,

if you're lucky you see a young blue crab squirm
in a stranger's palm. There's world order
in that murky water with its cattails and oil spills,

and under the surface a corpse or two.



© 2008 The Cortland Review