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About this poet

Laura Kasischke was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI. She received an MFA from the University of Michigan in 1987.

In 1991, she published her first collection of poetry, Wild Brides (New York University Press). She is also the author of Where Now: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2017), which was long-listed for the National Book Award; The Infinitesimals (Copper Canyon Press, 2014); Space, In Chains (Copper Canyon Press, 2011); Lillies Without (Copper Canyon Press, 2007); Gardening in the Dark (Ausable Press, 2004); Dance and Disappear (University of Massachusetts Press, 2002); What It Wasn't (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2002); Fire and Flower (Alice James Books, 1998); and Housekeeping In A Dream (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1995).

She is the author of the short story collection If A Stranger Approaches You (Sarabande Books, 2013). She has also published ten novels, of which three have been made into feature films.

She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as several Pushcart Prizes and numerous poetry awards. She teaches at the University of Michigan, and lives in Chelsea, Michigan.

Daysleep

Remember sleep, in May, in the afternoon, like
a girl’s bright feet slipped into dark, new boots.

Or sleep in one another’s arms at 10 o’clock
on a Saturday in June?—that

smiling child hiding behind
the heavy curtain of a photo booth.

All our daysleep, my love, remember sleep

like brides in violets. Sleep
like sleepy pilots casting

the shadows of their silver jets
onto the silver sailboats
they also sailed
on oceans miles below.

Such nothingness, on the other

side of which
infinity slid
into eternity, insisting

that we had lived together forever—and did.

From Where Now. Copyright © 2017 by Laura Kasischke. Used by permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyon.org.

From Where Now. Copyright © 2017 by Laura Kasischke. Used by permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyon.org.

Laura Kasischke

Laura Kasischke

Laura Kasischke was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI. She received an MFA from the University of Michigan in 1987.

by this poet

poem

Like the human brain, which organizes
The swirls and shades of the bathroom tiles
Into faces, faces
With expressions
Of exhaustion, of disdain. The
Virgin Mary in the toast of course
But also the penance in the pain, and the way
My mother invented
Plums and tissue paper,

poem

Their holiness, their loneliness, the song
they sing in certain barns
on sad, old farms
about the scales on which the love
was weighed, or the terrible
armchair onto which was tossed
a small girl’s nightgown once. The
widower’s broken ankle, and the summer
a transparent fish

poem

My mother begged me: Please, please, study
stenography...

Without it
I would have no future, and this

is the future that was lost in time to me

having scoffed at her, refusing
to learn the only skill I’d ever need, the one

I will associate forever now with loss, with

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