The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Cole Swensen

Collected Anonymous Lakes


and all the lakes besides
                        beside the photographs of lakes
with a lake in the distance
                        of the lake in black and white
glimpsed between the dark
                        for which there is no name
a lake unwound
                        one small person down
a wharf all the way across
                        a call across a storm.



Cole Swensen

Collected Anonymous Snow


Back at the very back of the white
                        the white house long in the white field
Then the white tree, eleven anonymous
                        photographs 1 x 1.25 inches slightly
shaken, the tree in snow in motion
                        the path in snow now over
The sky that white has softened
                        has softened also the gate and so the gate
is now watching.



Cole Swensen

Collected Anonymity


dressed in ocean
                        the question of distance
itself anonymous. She's sitting on a breakwater
                        too far to be faces
he's on the edge of a field
                        and the field is enormously
farther larger
                        I found a woman
wandering through a photo
                        in the middle distance
                        stepping forward
her hand raised to her forehead.




COLE SWENSEN is the author of 15 books of poetry; another, On Walking On, will be published by Nightboat in spring of 2017. She’s also the translator of over twenty volumes of French poetry, creative prose, and art criticism and the co-editor of the Norton anthology American Hybrid. She divides her time between Paris and Providence RI, where she teaches at Brown University.



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