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Three Poems by Michael Earl Craig


the angel had no memories
the angel sat in the huge tree
high up in the huge tree

this angel with its massive wings

this angel with its massive folded wings
covered in hoarfrost

pessimism and narcissism go together I
just wanted you to know

for example I refuse to go to the holiday office party


although we pretended we could
we in fact could not see the visiting angel

we saw only a shaft of light in winter
we saw only some winter light
the kind of light you most often see in winter

Group Therapy

He was a Cossack; he had a crew cut
She was impious; a bacterium dined on her knuckle.
It was Nebraska everywhere.
The luncheonette despised its inhabitants.

He told the group he had not had a feeling in years.
(He’d always called her the group.)
It was a petty quibble in solid milk chocolate.
It was a pair of recently unwrapped chopsticks
on its purplish way into service.

There was a stiffening, she noticed it.
An elongation.
A cementation.
A thrumming, newsy and tepid.
The group held its poise.

An afterglow hung like a cobweb in the doorway.
I used my hand to slowly dismantle it.
I moved my hand in a single, slow movement.
Like a pope dismantling an afterglow.
And the group looked like it might speak.
In each of their minds she repeatedly tripped
on the carpeted corner of a catafalque.
“I am only one, Duane,” she said.
“I am only one,” she said, again, the slightest bit
of condensation on her upper lip.

Wild for the Lord

Someone is sitting on a tall stool before me.

I have just carefully cut
my best friend’s wife’s bangs.

My watch feels like a small corpse on my wrist tonight.

Michael Earl Craig was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1970. He is the author of Thin Kimono; Yes, Master; Can You Relax in My House and the chapbook Jombang Jet. He is a certified journeyman farrier and lives near Livingston, Montana. These poems are taken from his new book Talkativeness which is available from Wave Books.


Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

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To submit to Poets Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work).  Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where.  For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights.  Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document. Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions). Submissions not following the guidelines may or may not receive a response.

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