Joshua Edwards & Dora Malech

Thursday, April 6, 2017, at 7:00 pm, poets Joshua Edwards and Dora Malech will continue the tenth season of the Collected Poets Series. Mocha Maya’s Coffee House, 47 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA. ($2-5 suggested donation)


Joshua Edwards

Joshua Edwards directs Canarium Books. He’s the author of Castles and IslandsArchitecture for TravelersImperial Nostalgias, and Campeche, as well as a photobook, Photographs Taken at One-Hour Intervals During a Walk from Galveston Island to the West Texas Town of Marfa. He also translated Mexican poet María Baranda’s Ficticia. Currently living in Northampton, he and his family are usually at home in West Texas.


Dora Malech

Dora Malech is the author of Say So (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011) and Shore Ordered Ocean (Waywiser Press, 2009). Her poems have appeared in publications that include The New YorkerPoetryTin House, and The Best American Poetry. She has been the recipient of a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship, a Writers’ Fellowship at the Civitella Ranieri Center, and a 2017 Amy Clampitt Residency. She lives in Baltimore, where she is an assistant professor in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.


THE LAMP OF LIFE / Joshua Edwards

The inseparably composed
sweet and vivid energies
of mind and imagination

will be lost among bones.
Reader, is life a pickpocket?
Is it a temple for or the apex

of struggling? Is vitality art?
What is between the living
and the dead? A little door?

A terminal? A hair’s breadth
of anything? Reader, readers
vanish. Every reader is thus

only a dream of the reader.
Think of the eleventh century.
Imagine a Byzantine stranger.

Imagine the fearlessness of
medieval children. Heartless,
they had to love everything.

We read poetry, but people
change. Look, there is
a memory! It is lifeless.

Perhaps the question to ask
is this: While living, how much
of the world vanishes away?


FLOURISH / Dora Malech

Clematis, sweet pea, sweet alyssum,
sweet asylum,

adornment’s adamant
heaven scent

to bed an arbor’s

yes this

reaching toward
its own reward,

sweet re-aching might redeem
what seems

a frail unfurling to refuge
instead, re-fugue

played in contrapuntal context
shows some pragmatist’s thanks

not only as noun and verb, but stem, climbing

aster and hydrangea, honeysuckle,
wisteria, twine and tendril

reaching skyward

as if to pick
a warden’s lock,

as if jazz hands, spirit fingers,
fireworks, as our shared shards glitter

on this flood lit stage left empty and the river rising like ovation
out of whose rush and rake and raze and refuse grows again

these petals, pleats, sequins,
pirouettes, curtsies and klieg-eyed bowers, sure-fired lines

run to sun’s stunning
statement piece, peals on which an hour slips under

the higher wire
and over

the big top we make
of what’s at stake,


corkscrewing up to pour more sunlight,

the act
we make of the temporary fact of us.

(First published in Iowa Review)