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  Charles Levenstein is Professor Emeritus of Work Environment Policy at University of Massachusetts Lowell. He has a Ph.D. in economics from M.I.T. and a masters degree in physiology and occupational health from Harvard School of Public Health. He is editor of NEW SOLUTIONS, journal of occupational and environmental health policy, and author of numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as of several books, including The Cotton Dust Papers (with G. DeLaurier and M.L. Dunn) and The Point of Production (with J. Wooding). His poetry has been published in many e-zines, including Loch Raven Review, Niederngasse, Poetry Bay, Numbat, MiPo, and others. He has published three collections of poems: Lost Baggage (Loom Press, 2001), Poems of World War III (Lulu, 2006) and Animal Vegetable (Lulu, 2006).  

Fall 2007

Table of Contents - Vol. III, No. 3

Poetry    Translations    Interview    Essays    Fiction    Book Notes & Reviews


Charles Levenstein



(Thanks to Elizabeth Kolbert)

Maintaining this hive,
an enterprise started as a divine joke
or, at most, an explosion of interest
in the otherwise dreary void,

requires more of my time
and less of hers, she seems to have lost
interest, preferring hard bodies
or growing minds to an old honey –

Possibly standards have risen,
in the beginning, “dirty” was without substance,
but with germ theory and profit centers,
leaving well enough alone won’t do.

Perhaps we/I have been dropped off
in a distant suburb, too much bother,
loving care of an untrainable, slothful
swarm, best returned to the no-kill pound

which is where I find myself
considering honey in a superannuated apiary.


Window of Desire

If you sit in the same place each morning,
The blind cat snoozing on a leather hassock,
The wild one prowling for Cinderella moths,

Seasons walk by, slowly enough
To document colors and preeminent wildlife,
The urban skunk ever present,

Squirrels from fat to lean and back again,
Sparrows and starlings, songbirds and cranks,
Until winter, a time for theory, not practice.

We migrate then with more ambitious fowl,
Find a beach where mango daquiris are served
And a pile of novels consumed without interruption;

Or we remain at this window of speculation,
Watch endless snow cover our mistakes,
Contemplate the dimming landscape of desire.


Charles Levenstein

Poetry    Translations    Interview    Essays    Fiction    Book Notes & Reviews


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