The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Douglas Smith & George Looney



We offer a lark perched on the taut line
of a poem, opening its small mouth.
We say there is a song, but there is none.
The lark in the fiction is not the lark
in its nest, hidden. In the confusion
of these words and music, no bird can sing
more than a single syllable, which is
enough. To define anything as pure
runs the risk of changing it, endlessly,
into what we need it to be: ourselves.




DOUGLAS SMITH was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  His first book is Judgments.  His work can be read in The Gettysburg Review, Quarterly West, Cimarron Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Washington Square, cream city review, and many other magazines.  Two of his poems appear in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VII: North Carolina.  A contributing editor at Lake Effect, he teaches at Guilford College.


GEORGE LOONEY's eighth book of poetry, Meditations Before the Windows Fail, came out from Lost Horse Press in 2015. Structures the Wind Sings Through (2014), Monks Beginning to Waltz (2012), and A Short Bestiary of Love and Madness  (2011) are his three previous books. He is the editor of Lake Effect.  



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