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Issue 4.1 

Winter 2024
4.1 Lance

Lance Newman


This very short poem is assembled from words that occur in the first two chapters of Henry Thoreau’s Walden. It is a secular dictum, by turns austere, dissonant, barbed, and oblique. Readers have described them as “gnomic utterances” that echo traditional “wisdom literature” and provoke new views of everyday life. One of the “Proverbs of Hell” in William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell reads, “Eternity is in love with the productions of time.” These “Proverbs of Earth” explore the harmonic interference between contemporary experience and a time-bound lexicon, and they “remind us there is more to be understood in a world that suggests mostly there is more to be owned” (Nick Piombino, Contradicta, BlazeVOX, 2009).

Lance Newman teaches literature, media, and writing at Westminster University. His poems have appeared in print and web magazines in the US, UK, and Australia, including 1913: A Journal of Forms, Beloit Poetry Journal, Blazevox, Dusie, International Times, No Tell Motel, otoliths, Queen Mob's Teahouse, saltfront, Stride, Sugar House Review, unsplendid, West Wind Review, and Zyzzyva. He has published two chapbooks: Come Kanab (Dusi-e/chaps Kollectiv, 2007) and 3by3by3 (Beard of Bees, 2010). For more information, see

I think in scraps of fire
at fixed hours. Birds commuting
to set down a clutch of eggs
just there. The theatre
of baking in a storm.

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