Radio Crackling, Radio Gone

By Lisa Olstein b. 1972 Lisa Olstein
Thousands of planes were flying and then
they stopped. We spend days moving our eyes

across makeshift desks, we sit on a makeshift floor;
we prepare for almost nothing that might happen.

Early on, distant relations kept calling.
Now, nothing: sound of water

tippling a seawall. Nothing: sparks
lighting the brush, sparks polishing the hail,

the flotsam of cars left standing perfectly still.
Thud of night bird against night air,

there you are on the porch, swath
of feathers visible through the glass,

there you are on the stairs where the cat fell
like a stone because her heart stopped.

What have you found in the wind above town square?
Is it true that even the statues have gone?

Is there really a hush over everything as there used to be
in morning when one by one we took off our veils?

Lisa Olstein, "Radio Crackling, Radio Gone" from Radio Crackling, Radio Gone (Copper Canyon Press, 2006). www.coppercanyonpress.org

Source: Radio Crackling Radio Gone (Copper Canyon Press, 2006)

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Poet Lisa Olstein b. 1972

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Relationships, Home Life, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Cities & Urban Life

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Lisa   Olstein

Biography

Lisa Olstein grew up near Boston, Massachusetts. She received a BA from Barnard College and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Her first book of poems, Radio Crackling, Radio Gone (2006), won the Copper Canyon Press Hayden Carruth Award. Olstein is also the author of the poetry collections Lost Alphabet (2009), named one of the nine best poetry books of the year by Library Journal, and Little Stranger (2013). . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Home Life, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Cities & Urban Life

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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