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May 30, 2009 The Strand Bookstore, New York City From the Academy Audio Archive

About this poet

Idra Novey is the author Exit, Civilian (University of Georgia Press, 2012).  She teaches at Princeton University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Definition of Stranger

Idra Novey

 

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Idra Novey

Idra Novey is the author Exit, Civilian (University of Georgia Press, 2012).  She teaches at Princeton University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

by this poet

poem

Levinas asked if we have the right
To be        the way I ask my sons
If they’d like to be trees       

The way the word tree
Makes them a little animal
Dancing up and down
Like bears in movies
                 
Bears I have to say
Pretend we are children

poem
After Mahmoud Darwish
And they searched her voice, heard the lurch of a bus into the deep muck of a field.

And they searched the bus, saw the guts of its vinyl seats.

And they searched the guts, smelled the steel springs rusting.

And they searched the rust, tasted nothing but
poem

Dear C, I dropped

your sentence in hot water.
I talked to the boil. I said Here

is my thumb for you to burn.

Here is the soft heart
of my hand and my arm and

the nape of my wreck.

I said vapor, just take me.
I’m done burning