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Peter Balakian

Peter Balakian’s most recent book of poems is June-tree: New and Selected Poems, 1974–2000 (HarperCollins, 2001). His memoir Black Dog of Fate (Basic Books, 1997) was awarded the PEN/Albrand Prize. He directs the creative writing program at Colgate University.

Author

Sarajevo

1. The needle of the minaret disappeared in fog and we were walking between Hapsburg courtyards and the detonated façade of the National Library, the wooden scaffolding rising up the Moorish pediments, the stripped cement and under-brick, and [...]

World Trade Center / Mail Runner / ’71

Every city a response to the indifference of geology. From the pier on West Street the towers were sun on steel. I felt the tone-hole sockets vibrate in my hand, I felt what does it take to win your love for me woozy like bourbon, insistent a [...]

World Trade Center / Mail Runner / ’73

There was no languor, no drowsy trade winds, or stoned-out stupor of lapping waves, only news, the big board of crime, corporate raiding, selling short and long. It didn’t matter, I was no Ishmael. I just hovered there in the thick of the [...]

World Trade Center / Black Holes / ’74

I may have flunked physics but I was full of black holes and wind that was slamming the tower as I rose in the glass box up to the 80th with a check from Chilean Line. Black holes opened relativity, created frozen stars. In the sky lobby o [...]

Talking Over Chekov, Montauk Point

for aunt Nona I breathe the clear Crimean air. You tell me of a time that's lost, a world of figs and gold leaf where my father as a boy stood knee-deep in the mussel shells. We are drawn back to this place like sea gulls to the scene of bait, [...]