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From the Archives: Seven Rooms

The poem is both tender and sinister, simply told and yet deeply bizarre. It is a poem seemingly about torture, affection, and the afterlife ambiguously titled “Seven Rooms,” and, though we decided not to include it in our upcoming Anniversary issue, I believe it still deserves some attention.

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Backyard Rock

Hit play below to hear Jacques J. Rancourt read his poem “Backyard Rock” and scroll down for the full text. “Backyard Rock“ is featured in MQR’s Winter 2021 Issue. Backyard Rock It’s 1999, the year I learned to float by filling my body with questions. Swimming at night with my father was the first time since the fog …

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Plath’s Hair

“Writers long for a new sense of form though they may never know
what it is. The real is released from its concept, light releases day
as a fawn steps over the floor of the world till some of the spots
look spilled…”

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Like the poem’s subject, “Currency” lulls the reader into a false sense of comfort.

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Two Poems

Jaguar Song —Just after you sign and envision building homes on this tract you smell me in the dark      know that I move through this terrain at night   though you only think of building and selling   even now you believe you can borrow my spirit by wearing a mask of my face …

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Aerial oil painting of large rocks

Tithe of the Assassins

Tithe of the Assassins We don’t know what they did with the newborns or with their mothers (but we can imagine). Those able to escape had to ignore the desperate cries of the dying. Now great shopping centers are sprouting up like mushrooms in damp darkness, where light is a boiling TV screen. Many survivors …

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Water color painting of blurred red roses

Devil Always Thought Pelagius Was a Second-Rate Christian

Why I Chose It: Michigan Quarterly Review Reader David Freeman introduces Charlie Clark’s poem, “Devil Always Thought Pelagius Was a Second-Rate Christian,” from our Fall 2020 Issue. When I read Charlie Clark’s virtuosic poem, “Devil Always Thought Pelagius Was a Second-Rate Christian,” I am conflicted. To be clear, I am not conflicted about the poem’s content — it is …

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painting of ancient Estonia

Pain Log #2

Pain Log #2: Letter to My Sister I listen to Arvo Pärt’s sacred music and think of his native Estonia, which reminds me of that Tallinn lawyer and historian whom I met  one November at the American Academy in Rome. She wore an outlandish costume for our communal dinners—mauve taffeta suit with matching hat—and she …

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