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Terence Winch

Barbara Henning: PIck of the Week [ed. Terence Winch]

Barbara Henning  Selfie Photo on 11-1-20 at 4.44 PM 2
















Barbara Henning, Selfie Photo on 11-1-20 at 4.44 PM


Here We Are


Off to the stationery store on Avenue A

to buy paper and metal bookends.

At least 58 people died in Europe

this week in a brutal cold wave,

plunging temperatures to 17 degrees

below zero.  When I step inside,

I'm suddenly phlegmy and coughing. 

Blood starts pouring out of my

left nostril.  A funny old woman

hidden inside a blue hooded coat

darts out the door.  Republicans

point at the millions of immigrant

workers pouring into the country.

Then I look in the mirror and see

a funny looking old woman

with her head wrapped

like a mummy and a tissue stuck

in her nose. King Tut's mummy

was recently removed from

the sarcophagus, and placed

in a climate-controlled box

to be displayed at a museum in Luxor. 

My husband often had a bloody nose.

Maybe we'll find each other

in another life. When I think of

losing my children, I feel my body

crack into pieces. China's cracking

down on subversive meditating

disciples of the Dalai Lama. 

Be thankful for now, Barbara.

Today. This minute. Here we are.


Barbara Henning is the author of four novels and eight collections of poetry, most recently a collection of poems, Digigram (United Artists Books 2020) and a novel, Just Like That (Spuyten Duyvil, 2016). She is also the editor of Prompt Book: Experiments for Writing Poetry and Fiction (Spuyten Duyvil 2021), as well as The Selected Prose of Bobbie Louise Hawkins (BV) and Looking Up Harryette Mullen (Belladonna). She is Professor Emeritus at Long Island University in Brooklyn.  [“Here We Are” from A Day Like Today (Negative Capability Press, 2015) is used by permission; © 2021 by Barbara Henning.]


King Tut

In this Nov. 4, 2007 file photo, Egypt's antiquities chief Dr. Zahi Hawass, center, supervises the removal of the mummy of King Tutankhamun from his stone sarcophagus in his underground tomb in the famed Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt. © REUTERS / Ben Curtis







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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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