Volume 10 (Fall 2015)

Ruth Danon is the author of the poetry collections Limitless Tiny Boat, (new from BlazeVOX, 2015), Living with the Fireman (Ziesing Brothers, 1981), and Triangulation from a Known Point (North Star Line, 1990), and a book of literary criticism, Work in the English Novel (Croom-Helm, 1985). New work is forthcoming in NOON: The Journal of the Small Poem, Post Road, and The Florida Review. Her poetry was selected by Robert Creeley for Best American Poetry, 2002, and her poetry and prose have appeared in Versal, Mead, BOMB, the Paris Review, Fence, the Boston Review, 3rd Bed, Crayon, and many other publications in the U.S. and abroad. She is a professor of creative and expository writing in the School of Professional Studies of New York University.

On Libations: Lately I've had a thing for margaritas, on the rocks, no salt. Actually, I think what I really love is the ice. I crave ice in all liquids unless they are meant to be hot. And then they have to be hot. The strange thing is that more than anything I hate to be cold. Maybe Mead readers can figure this out.

Ruth Danon


So listen, let me confess, I do not live in a world

that lends itself easily to description or evocation

or adoration. In my ordinary life I face one brick

wall on one side and another brick wall on the other.

I do not even have words to distinguish one brick

wall from another and if there are windows  in yet another

wall they give over to a wall on the far side of any small

opening.  I envy those who stand quietly on shores and

watch plovers. I do not know what a plover looks like

and I do not know if it makes a sound. The word

contains the word “lover,” and also the word “over”

and that is yet another brick wall.  I believe in the

power of birds, but I do not know, not for a minute,

how to describe their quivering hearts or their flights

or the mad plunge of herons into salty marshes.

A little while ago I washed my face in clear water.

I plunged right in, my stupid eyes closed.