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Poem by Todd Swift for World Poetry Day


The Ailment

What got there, got there
Then it stayed.  Like glue
A doctor implied.  Like prayer
Argued another clad like a father
Black as grease.  It stung
And stuck inside.  A thorn

She cried; a hornet having died
The priest complained – unsin
Thy side!  It was presented
In a finding so I had to decide:
Pull out the fervid pin or wasp
Away to little else besides lather

On a shaved boy’s chin.  Its clasp
Was like wax on a ski or an LP’s skin.
It slid about, it grooved, it played
The length and lines of me, a musicness
Unto breath.  A tiny ceaseless death
The dentist opined then wanted cash.

It felt like wine-slosh in my brainpan.
All night I travelled in my bed, a train.
Each carriage disgorged an ailment
But this main thing only grew in size.
It happened finally to emit a claim
On my own name.  It wanted out

But as me.  I feigned indifference
To my external self, retained some
Dignity.  Soon though, unguents came
And took the resourceful fluid for a stroll.
It shook off the air and walked upright, so
Everyone who saw it nodded at my soul.

March 21, 2012

poem by Todd Swift


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SEXTON SHORTLIST!

Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:


THE BARBAROUS CENTURY, Leah Umansky
HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
GIMME THAT. DON’T SMITE ME, Steve Kronen
SCHEHERAZADE AND OTHER REDEPLOYMENTS, David McAleavey
AN AMERICAN PURGATORY, Rebecca Gayle Howell
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!