A Farmer’s Life: Xiwuqi, Inner Mongolia

For my vacation last summer, I visited the Bateer family in Xiwuqi.

A Journey along the Atlantic Slave Route

Neither blood nor belonging accounted for my presence in Ghana.

A Lebanese Feast

Lebanon’s dreams of a homeland were fading with every rocket launch.

A Master at Work

Man is always beginning everything anew, even in his own life.

A Partial History of Lost Causes

Chess was a humiliation that hung over him like a leper’s bell.

A Portion of Your Loveliness

My daughter’s favorite game is Holocaust. She’s quite inventive.

A Weary Desperado

I was convinced she’d be back in the morning, like the sun.

Addendum and Other Poems

The animals are dying. All the beautiful women are dying too.

Adventures of a Would-Be Filmmaker

Since I am in my seventies, it is now or never, and I know it.

After Saddam

He said he had come back to the prison because it was home.

All That Floats

Devanand Simon was twenty-five when the bodies fell from the sky.

America, I Do Not Call Your Name Without Hope

Lost land, this is a song for the scars on your back, for your blistered feet.

American Paradoxes

I recoil from the certitude that religion can give a person; it’s horrific.

At Sea

I only feel that here, only here, in this one place, a small rise.

Badger Mountain

Keely finally stops crying when they step outside. The shock of cold.

Be Patient

The dead children were wheeled away, covered with white sheets.

Beautiful Daughters

I hate it here, but I’ll make the best of it, because that’s what mothers do.

Best Advice

It was the sixties, and I was in
college and incredibly restless.

Beyond the Glass Ceiling There’s Sky

If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.

Black and White

If a friend’s family is persecuted, call Sinn Fein on that number.

Bodily Assumption and Other Poems

Find a hair in the rose bush, wrap it around a thorn until that thorn is soft.

Bosnia Bosnia

Too bad there is no oil between her legs that 4-year-old Muslim girl.

Bring Us a Souvenir from the Next War

Be glad the numbness in your legs isn’t reading on your face.

Broad Strokes

This Lee was a woman, and she was a painter, and she was good.

Budapest 1984

I saw my mother’s face turn dark like the winter sky before a storm.

Ca Dao

I returned to Vietnam with a tape recorder to collect ca dao.


No one tells you what it sounds like out in the streets when bullets clang.

Carp for the Wehrmacht

Papa’s link to that pond was a matter of blood. And the delicious carp.

Carry Me Back

“Mom, don’t you think the fucking racism is worse than my profanity?”

Cartoon Art Volume 2009-05

This book club has rules, Carolyn. Everyone HAS to read the book!