Friday, October 01, 2010


ArLiJo Is Featuring Poetry by James Bland

James Bland is the featured poet this month at ArLiJo.


After washing clothes
in the Maytag,
dad would haul them
to the backyard
in a green laundry basket,
cooked on one side
because I once left it
too close to the heater.

He’d lurch forward
like a robot,
the knitted sack
that contained
the wooden clothespins
baby-birded in the nook
between chin and clavicle.

Unable to do it herself,
grandma would eyeball him
from her bedroom window:
“Clothespin them at the seams.
If you spread them out,
they’ll dry faster …”

Glimpses —
in his frustration,
when she corrected him;
in his pride,
when she was content —
of the boy he once was.

Copyright © 2010 by James Bland.


James Bland earned an MFA in Poetry from Cornell University and a PhD in English and American Literature from Harvard University. He has received a collegiate Academy of American Poet 's Prize, a Bread Loaf Writer's Workshop Scholarship, a Saratoga Springs Writer's Fellowship, a Key West Writer's Fellowship, and has been awarded two MacDowell Colony residencies.

His work has or will appear in Callaloo, Agni Magazine, Columbia Magazine, Key West Review, Muleteeth, The Windless Orchard, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares Literary Journal, Standing on the Verge, South Carolina Review, Blue Moon Review, Antioch Review, and Potomac Review.

To read more of his work, visit:

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