For a few days: frost
remakes the lawn as frozen spines.
I’m stepping on small bones.
In these outlying parts
streets are named Whispering or Leaf.
I’m leashed to a small companion
who leads me from one message to another,
squats in the grass, rubs
against a hydrant’s iron neck.
I’m bundled in feathers,
the downy air, to prove
what breed of animal I am.
Read "[For a few days: frost]" and "[I keep receiving boxes filled with air,]" from Jehanne Dubrow's American Samizdat on Poetry Daily, featured June 9, 2019.
Imagine a United States in which the First Amendment no longer exists. What would we say? What kind of poems would we read and write? In her seventh collection of poetry, American Samizdat, Jehanne Dubrow contemplates this possibility. Composed as series of terrified fragments, the book replicates the urgency of the Cold War-era, dissident writings once known as “samizdat,” underground publications that were forbidden by the state.
Jehanne Dubrow is the author of seven poetry collections, including most recently American Samizdat (Diode Editions, 2019), and a book of creative nonfiction, throughsmoke: an essay in notes (New Rivers Press, 2019). Her eighth collection of poems, Simple Machines, won the Richard Wilbur Poetry Award and will be published by the University of Evansville Press at the end of 2019. Her work has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Pleiades, and The Southern Review. She is an Associate Professor of creative writing at the University of North Texas.