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138| Bar Napkin Bouts-Rimés

Moira Egan


(Though poets lie in service of the truth
and fiction’s simply truth tricked out in lies,
what do I tell my students, whose sweet youth
does not allow for gritty subtleties?
That I commit the crimes of one still young
and too immortal to obey what’s best
for organs such as liver, heart, and tongue?
I keep my wild-hair story-box suppressed
(I love my kids) and though I feel unjust
I hope they’ll understand me when they’re old
enough to see that love’s a blinding trust
that lives, or doesn’t, once the lie’s been told.
Therefore I lie to them, so I can be
a part of them, and yet hold on to me.)

Moira Egan’s poetry collections are Cleave (WWPH, 2004); La Seta della Cravatta/The Silk of the Tie (Edizioni l’Obliquo, 2009); Bar Napkin Sonnets (The Ledge Chapbook Competition, 2009); Spin (Entasis Press, 2010, for whom, with Clarinda Harriss, she also co-edited Hot Sonnets, 2011); and, most recently, Hot Flash Sonnets (Passager Books, 2013). Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies in the U.S. and abroad, including Best American Poetry 2008 and Lewis Turco’s most recent edition of The Book of Forms. With Damiano Abeni, she has published more than a dozen books in translation, by authors such as Barth, Bender, Ferlinghetti, Hecht, Strand, Tey, and John Ashbery, whose collection, Un mondo che non può essere migliore: Poesie scelte 1956-2007, won a Special Prize of the Premio Napoli (2009). She has been a Mid Atlantic Arts Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; Writer in Residence at St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, Malta; a Writing Fellow at the Civitella Ranieri Center; and a Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center. She lives in Rome, and teaches literature and creative writing.

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