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Saturday, August 01, 2020


by Alan Elyshevitz

Photograph by Al Drago / NYT / Redux via The New Yorker

you need to articulate and oppose. And timing,
you need that, and enough blank space. Expel
the breath in prorated bursts like x-rays dosing
the bones. Advisers weigh in on the controversy
of whether to use the emphatic body—forearm
offensive, fingers poised in their swiveling
launcher—or hold the body still, allowing
ejections to speak for themselves. You need
not shout. The interior of any room is a multiplier—
its walls and angles—the right words both vicious
and acoustic when they undergo a truculent
bounce. The aim, of course, is not to persuade
but to level. The aim is disquiet. To impel
the president of Russia to send a lacquer box.

Alan Elyshevitz is the author of a collection of stories, The Widows and Orphans Fund (SFA Press), and three poetry chapbooks, most recently Imaginary Planet (Cervena Barva). His poems have appeared in River Styx, Nimrod International Journal, and Water~Stone Review, among many others. Winner of the James Hearst Poetry Prize from North American Review, he is also a two-time recipient of a fellowship in fiction writing from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.