A Poem by Alicia Suskin Ostriker

December 23, 2020  By Alicia Suskin Ostriker

My neighbor’s daughter has created a city
you cannot see
ruled by a noble princess and her athletic consort
all the buildings are glass so that lies are impossible
beneath the city they have buried certain words
which can never be spoken again
chiefly the word divorce which is eaten by maggots
when it rains you hear chimes
rabbits race through its suburbs
the name of the city is one you can almost pronounce


The Volcano and After: Selected and New Poems 2002-2019 by Alicia Ostriker

“Utopian” from the book The Volcano and After: Selected and New Poems 2002-2019 by Alicia Ostriker, © 2020. Reprinted by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Alicia Suskin Ostriker
Alicia Suskin Ostriker
Alicia Suskin Ostriker is a major American poet and critic. She is the author of numerous poetry collections, including, most recently, The Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog; The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems, 1979–2011; and The Book of Seventy, winner of the National Jewish Book Award. She has received the Paterson Poetry Prize, the San Francisco State Poetry Center Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, and has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award, among other honors. Ostriker teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Drew University and is currently a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

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