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About this poet

Craig Morgan Teicher was born in 1979 and received an MFA from Columbia University in 2005. He is the author of To Keep Love Blurry (BOA Editions, 2012) and Brenda Is in the Room and Other Poems (Center for Literary Publishing, 2008), winner of the Colorado Prize for Poetry. Also the author of Cradle Book (BOA Editions, 2010), a collection of stories and fables, Teicher is a literary critic, and his essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications. He currently serves as the director of digital operations at Publishers Weekly and as a poetry editor of The Literary Review. He teaches at The New School and New York University and lives in New Jersey with his wife, the poet Brenda Shaughnessy, and their children.

In the Waiting Room

magazines from a lost month litter the end
tables. A pretty nurse

pops her head in and says,
The doctor will see you now, though not

to you, and no one stands up—you are
the only one waiting.

But soon the doctor will cast the long shadow
of his diagnosis. You’ve got

a thorn in your paw, a toothache, chronic
wide eyes, fear of fear

of fear itself, time on your hands
slipping between your fingers,

lost lust, purgatory, online pain, short
straws, overexaggeration,

the tendency to list: short, fat, and forlorn,
ever inoperable . . . O to have

a nurse of your very own, a time-angel, someone
on the one and only payroll

to pass you the pill it’s always time to take, whose
rear your eyes can follow

to Happytown. But now, here, however,
you are skimming an article

about the viral video that sank New York,
then a profile of the man

who played the real-life Michael Jackson.
An article on who really profits

from most chilly wind. On the truth about
close friendship. On ten safe things

to open your mind to. You are an
Elizabeth! You are one of them!

Soon someone will call you in.

From The Trembling Answers. Copyright © 2017 by Craig Morgan Teicher. Used with permission of The Permissions Company, Inc. on behalf of BOA Editions, Ltd., www.boaeditions.org

From The Trembling Answers. Copyright © 2017 by Craig Morgan Teicher. Used with permission of The Permissions Company, Inc. on behalf of BOA Editions, Ltd., www.boaeditions.org

Craig Morgan Teicher

Craig Morgan Teicher

Craig Morgan Teicher is the author of To Keep Love Blurry (BOA Editions, 2012).

by this poet

poem

I feel like Emily Dickinson did, running her pale finger over each blade of grass, then caressing each root in the depths of the earth's primeval dirt, each tip tickling heaven's soft underbelly. I feel like Emily alone in her room, her hands folded neatly in her lap, waiting forever for one of those two

poem

There must be soft words
for an evening like this, when the breeze
caresses like gentle fingertips
all over. I don’t know

how not to write darkly and sad.
But it’s two years today since
my little girl was born, cut safely
from the noose.

We meant nothing but hope

poem

I was afraid the past would catch up with me,
would find this new house too like the scarred
old childhood home. But it hasn’t yet. A tree
casts soft and gentle shade over our green yard.
I feel forgiven all the sins I didn’t commit
for long minutes at a time. What were they?
I can’t

2