The Sunday Poem: John Poch






Because justice must recede
like a page number
and because the dictionary of under
is a tedious read, more simply
consider the ground
as those who pour concrete
think of how it rained or will.

Consequently, consider the sky,
and pray like a murderer has died.
When a person dies,
it’s not a page ripped out
of a book. It’s a chapter
in another language
nearly written.

When toasting your rival,
let the glass fall
with your hand, but hold
the glass.
Give up because.

If we must bury the hatchet,
then you be the priest.




About John Poch

John PochJohn Poch is the author of three collections of poems, Two Men Fighting with a Knife, Poems, and most recently Dolls (Orchises Press 2009). He is also the co-author of Hockey Haiku: The Essential Collection. His poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, The New Republic, Yale Review, and other journals. He teaches in the creative writing program at Texas Tech University.

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“Forgiveness” © John Poch. This poem originally appeared in Meridian and was reprinted with permission by the author.


By | 2016-11-11T21:55:30+00:00 09.17.11|The Sunday Poem, Words|Comments Off on The Sunday Poem: John Poch

About the Author:

I’ve spent almost 20 years helping thousands of successful artists of all disciplines and working to make the arts more accessible. (One friend likes to call me “the arts enabler.”) From 1999-2012 I worked at The MacDowell Colony, the nation’s oldest artist colony, but I've also done time at an arts magazine, a library, an art museum, and a raptor rehabilitation center. In May of 2012 I left MacDowell to pursue writing, speaking, curating, and creative projects full-time. In 2015 I was named a “Top 100 Artist, Innovator, Creative” by Origin magazine. I've appeared as an arts and culture commentator on New Hampshire Public Radio, and in 2017 I was the recipient of the Wampler Art Professorship at James Madison University. I am the founder of the Gwarlingo Salon series, which connects artists like DJ Spooky with rural audiences in the Monadnock region. In 2017 my collaborator Corwin Levi and I will publish our first book, Mirror Mirrored, which combines Grimms’ fairy tales with vintage illustration remixes and the work of contemporary artists like Kiki Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, and Amy Cutler. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, but have called New Hampshire home since 1999. My studio is located in the historic, mill village of Harrisville. I miss fried okra, the early southern spring, and restaurants that stay open past 9:00 p.m., but rural life agrees with me. In New Hampshire I can see the stars, go kayaking or snowshoeing, watch bald eagles fish in the lake, and focus on my creative work in silence. I no longer have to worry about traffic jams; deer, wild turkeys, and frost heaves are the primary road hazards here. Although I live in the country, I’m fortunate enough to be part of a vibrant arts community that extends beyond this small New England village. The quiet days are punctuated by regular travel and frequent visits to museums, theaters, readings, arts events, lectures, and open studios around the country. (You can read my full CV here.) Thanks for visiting Gwarlingo. I hope you'll be in touch.