The Cortland Review

Dorianne Laux
"Dog Poets" by Dorianne Laux.

Dorianne Laux
Five poems by Dorianne Laux.

This marks an author's first online publication Carl Adamshick
This marks an author's first online publication William Archila
Wes Benson
Roy Bentley
Michelle Bitting
Kim Bridgford
Stacey Lynn Brown
Grant Clauser
Michael Dickman
This marks an author's first online publication Matthew Dickman
This marks an author's first online publication Geri Digiorno
Cheryl Dumesnil
Molly Fisk
Jeannine Hall Gailey
Kate Lynn Hibbard
Major Jackson
Greg Kosmicki
Keetje Kuipers
Michael McGriff
This marks an author's first online publication Philip Memmer
This marks an author's first online publication Jude Nutter
John Repp
R. T. Smith
This marks an author's first online publication Brian Turner
Book Review
"Sister" by Nickole Brown—Book Review, by John Hoppenthaler.

Book Review
"Superman: The Chapbook" by Dorianne Laux—Book Review, by David Rigsbee.

Roy Bentley

Roy Bentley's The Trouble with a Short Horse in Montana won the White Pine Press poetry prize and was published in 2006. He has published two other book-length collections of poetry—Boy in a Boat (University of Alabama, 1986) and Any One Man (Bottom Dog, 1992)—and won a Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry from the NEA (2002). A six-time winner of the Ohio Arts Council individual artist fellowship, in 2008 he was awarded an IA fellowship in poetry by the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. He lives in Stuart, Florida.

Standing in Line with Gerald Stern    

I remember Stanley Kunitz had just read
a poem about a slap from his mother.
I remember I had to get up and into line
for the john, and the line went on and on.
You were there, humming an old blues tune.
Singing, always singing. Your happy Jew
could barely contain himself at the joy
breaking like noonlight after the poems.
Your windbreaker flapped its red wing.
Twenty-third and Water Street would have
bloomed with singing whores
on their way to death or Bridgeport, Ohio,
but the last of those houses closed long ago.

You stood, great heart, by a long window
in the overcast March light of Ohio.
I said to myself, If that's what it's like
to be a poet and sixty, I can do that.
Then we went in, in turn, making smalltalk
about Dutch Henry's, a bar I'd passed time in
playing shuffle bowling and drinking Iron City.
"Those beer signs can be blinding," you said.
We zipped up—not in unison, thank God—
and went our ways, separately smiling.

I said I'd write this if I lived, and meant it,
though I had no idea I'd begin a year later
on the reverse side of a McDonald's placemat,
my son Scott gorging himself on orange juice
and having to be told twice how to spell the word men,
interrupting before I'd gotten far enough
to know whether to speak of other lines—
those into Auschwitz or Buchenwald, lines
of smoke above the daily rigor of being a child,
lines of shrill-whistling trains arriving
on time for years, the lines of track
singing a blues but singing, always singing.
What my son wanted in his line wasn't poetry
or song or love's slap but that
which you wanted that day in Martins Ferry—
a place to let go, after that
to walk out of the theatre in the sunlight
and live a while by mercy and innocence.



© 2009 The Cortland Review