The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Chase Twichell

A Pond in Japan


I told Mom about a pond I saw in Japan,
how due to the small sculpted hills
and undulating shore, rocks and dwarf pines,

nowhere on its circumference was there 
a vantage from which one could see 
the pond in its entirety.

That’s not possible, said Mom.



Chase Twichell

Ghost Dress


On a hanger the pattern tissues 
for the new dress stir as I pass: 

the still-perfect ghost dress

not yet cut, not worn or worn out, 
not given away or sent to Goodwill.

I lay out the indigo silk on the cutting grid.

Mom gave me her whole stash 
the year she donated her machine 
to the Visiting Nurses.

This is the first piece of it I’ve cut.

The near-weightless spirits lie down
upon it and I pin them there.

The scissors come seeking them out.



Chase Twichell



My new red cloth notebook
looks like a prayer book:

white paper and slippery
black ribbon place-marker.

I have a habit of leaving journals
unfinished, starting new ones

earnestly, twenty or thirty volumes
so far, but all half-empty.

I start a new one whenever I renew my vow
to tell myself the truth about everything.




CHASE TWICHELL's most recent book is Horses Where the Answers Should Have Been: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon, 2010), which won both the Kingsley Tufts Award from Claremont Graduate University and the Balcones Poetry Prize. A new book, Things as It Is, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon in 2018. She lives in upstate New York with her husband, the novelist Russell Banks.



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