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Granted

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A film is always like a book and not like a conversation.
                                — Christian Metz

As I saw your face nearing
my face, snow fell through
a keyhole and opened the door.
We went inside and watched
windows wax green and gold.
Spring, we decided, was more
oppressive than winter with
its alyssum and clover
and the sheer weight of life
crowding us off the page.
We stayed in bed for years
and took our cures patiently
from each other’s cups.
We read Bleak House and
stored our money in socks.
Nothing opened as we did.

Source: Poetry (January 2014)

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This poem originally appeared in the January 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

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Granted

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  • Born and raised in Chicago, Maxine Chernoff earned a BA and an MA from the University of Illinois. Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative Poetry in 2006, Chernoff, in an innovative, post-modern approach, often utilizes prose forms. Her collections of poetry include A Vegetable Emergency (1977); Utopia TV Store: prose poems (1979); New Faces of 1952 (1985), winner of the Carl Sandburg Award; Leap Year Day: New and Selected Poems (1990); and World: Poems 1991–2001 (2001).
    Chernoff’s poems can be surreal, witty, and politically engaged. In a review of World for Jacket Magazine, Rachel Loden found that “wit cuts in and out of the melodic surge and flow” of the volume. Chernoff references Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz and employs epigraphs from Ralph Waldo Emerson in one section, prompting Loden to note “the impressionistic structures of these poems, their hops and skips across a rippling surface that suggests...

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