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About this poet

Alex Lemon is the author of four poetry collections: The Wish Book (Milkweed Editions, 2014), Fancy Beasts (Milkweed Editions, 2010), Hallelujah Blackout (Milkweed Editions, 2008), and Mosquito (Tin House Books, 2006). He’s also the author of two memoirs: Feverland: A Memoir in Shards (Milkweed Editions, 2017) and Happy: A Memoir (Scribner, 2009).

He is the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant and a Paterson Award for Literary Excellence, as well as fellowships from the Jerome Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Lemon is the editor-at-large at Saturnalia Books, the poetry editor for descant, and a senior prose editor at Tupelo Quarterly. He teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Ashland University and Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, where he lives.


Bibliography

Poetry

The Wish Book (Milkweed Editions, 2014)
Fancy Beasts (Milkweed Editions, 2010)
Hallelujah Blackout (Milkweed Editions, 2008)
Mosquito (Tin House Books, 2006)

Nonfiction

Feverland: A Memoir in Shards (Milkweed Editions, 2017)
Happy: A Memoir (Scribner, 2009)

This Paradise This This

What I need from this
Slap & tickle is a full

Suckle of lies. Glue
My lips together with

Blow flies. I am not
Ashamed at how hot

My cravings swing—
Cinder blocks crashed

Through car windows
& a joyous Wuuuu-Wuuuuu

Shouted at the dark
Puckering stars. I love

My calamity—say I am
The prettiest thing

You have ever seen
When the fire starts.

Copyright © 2017 Alex Lemon. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Kenyon Review, November/December 2017

Copyright © 2017 Alex Lemon. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Kenyon Review, November/December 2017

Alex Lemon

Alex Lemon is the author of four poetry collections: The Wish Book (Milkweed Editions, 2014), Fancy Beasts (Milkweed Editions, 2010), Hallelujah Blackout (Milkweed Editions, 2008), and Mosquito (Tin House Books, 2006).

by this poet

poem

Rusty chains coiled in the cardboard box
           I carry to the dumpster & all I am

Thinking is my face is falling off & is yours
           Under it & or is someone’s I don’t

Even know—further down, a stranger,
           A deadman, a saint, or just a sprawl

Of

poem

The entire world wants
To pretend to be a foreigner
In a big box store & wander
The aisles shouting, endlessly—
But I am pretty sure that today
Is my day to not just be a guy
But to be the guy. A baby grows 
In each drawer of the million

poem

You want evidence of the street
fight? A gutter-grate bruise & concrete scabs—
here are nails on the tongue,
a mosaic of glass shards on my lips.

I am midnight banging against house-
fire. A naked woman shaking
with the sweat of need.

An ocean of burning diamonds