November 2008

Michael Shorb


Ross Gay

C. Wade Bentley This marks an author's first online publication
Bonnie Bolling
Gabriel DeCrease
Pamela Hart
Roger Jones
Robert Lesman This marks an author's first online publication
James B. Nicola
Chad Prevost
Mark Prudowsky
Cassandra Robison
Michael Shorb
Avery Slater This marks an author's first online publication
Josh Stewart
Elisabeth von Uhl This marks an author's first online publication
Muriel Harris
This marks an author's first online publication

Paul Blaney This marks an author's first online publication
Neil Grimmett

David Rigsbee
reviews All of It Singing: New and Selected Poems by Linda Gregg

David Rigsbee

reviews Heat Lightning: New and Selected Poems 1986—2006 by Judith Skillman


Michael Shorb's work reflects his interest in combining the lyric and satirical modes while addressing real world issues and concerns. He writes frequently about environmental and political issues. His work has appeared in Nation, Michigan Quarterly Review, Commonweal, The Sun, Rattle, Underground Voices, Poetry Salzburg Review, Queen's Quarterly, and European Judaism.

I Was Going to Read This    

When the time was right.
When the refugees returned.
When the crisis abated.
When there was a space for reflection.

When the emperor penguin
fathers huddled in dark snow
beneath shearing, sky-
wide bands of blue and
red aurora lights,
sheltering their eggs,
keeping the species going,
cradling a flickering flame.

After knowledge became relevant again.
As soon as beauty had a proud
place in the world
I was going to
get around to it when
glaciers melted and seas rose
when the rapture turned out
to be a celestial prank and
lead bullets flew,
darkening the sky like clouds
of passenger pigeons.

Since it contained details
from my intimate life
I put it aside in a drawer
of cedar and smoke.
Since everyone I loved
would have been ruined and amazed
had word of it leaked out
I wrapped it in old newspapers
and jammed it under the porch
of the old farmhouse
where I never lived save in my youthful
terror of empty gnawing
winter nights when even
Robert Frost ran screaming
for the warm light of taverns
and the comforts of rum.



Michael Shorb: Poetry
Copyright ©2008 The Cortland Review Issue 41The Cortland Review