poem index


Alex Lemon

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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.



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


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

by this poet


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



The moon croons ghost
            & curtains lift
            Into the room magic & shine
                        The moon sings
Light of pinball machines
            Over the skin


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