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Issue 3.1

Winter 2023
3.1 Michael

Michael Brosnan


This poem is one of those, for me, that comes out of left field. That is, I wrote a draft and the next day found myself wondering, “Well, where did that come from?” I don’t know that I can answer that question with any precision. But I know the poem connects with an increasing sense of the complexity of the world and the universe that seems only to expand as I get older. It’s a sense of both the beauty and the menace—that some bigger truths will always be felt, but remain just out of reach.

Bending Spoons


Harnesses, clamps, paperclips.

The blooming of little lies.

The thumb pressure in doubt.


Fury’s imprecations

channeled into mottled feathers,

ruby throats, the spirit of air.


Wonder’s sly orchestration

of the sea, voicing

the slow ebb and slow flow.


At the blurred edge of coincidence,

knifing words releasing

the scent of crushed anise.


The invisible smashed into

immensity. Time warped and cheered

by the gale force of story.


You tell me secrets you

meant to keep —

about the downfall of every rose,


how hope, feigned or vexed,

sharpens, then dulls,

the point of symmetry’s will.


Coherent thoughts,

elegant and linear,

and, yet, not.


Bending spoons.

Almost reified: the mind of God —

this mighty quirk or sunlight.

Michael Brosnan is the author of two collections of poetry: The Sovereignty of the Accidental (Harbor Mountain Press, 2018) and ADRIFT (Grayson Books, 2023). His poems have appeared in numerous journals. He is also the author of Against the Current, a book on urban education, and serves as senior editor for the website Teaching While White. He lives in Exeter, New Hampshire. More at

Michael's Book Recommendations

The Kites, by Roman Gary
The Hurting Kind, by Ada Limón
Winter Recipes from the Collective, by Louise Glück
Entangled Life, Merlin Sheldrake
Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer

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