Sidney Wade

Sidney Wade

SIDNEY WADE has published five collections of poems, the most recent of which is Stroke, Persea Books, 2008. Her poems and translations have appeared in a wide variety of journals, including Poetry, The New Yorker, Grand Street, Paris Review, The New Republic, The Gettysburg Review, Two Lines, and The Kenyon Review, among others. She translates the poems of Melih Cevdet Anday, Yahya Kemal, and several others, from the Turkish. She recently served as President of the AWP, the Association for Writers and Writing Programs, and has taught at the University of Florida in the Creative Writing Program since 1993. She is the poetry editor of the literary journal Subtropics and was recently elected Secretary/Treasurer of the American Literary Translators’ Association, ALTA.


The beastly hot flesh
of the beach’s nude white sand
sears the feet even

in the dark the waves
a quiet lace ornament
on hissing water

from here we climb up
the mountain’s flank it’s hairless
and strange and arid

pebbles chuckle down
the trail is thin my flashlight
flashes and ranges

like a wild white
chicken no moon hot darkness
radiating down

aqueous lightnings
prick at the backs of the eyes
here is the odor

of seeping gases
here is the face of the beast
small fires in the ground

little blue tongues cold
to the eye lap formally
at the nights’s profile


I’ve stalked my way here
to this mythical minute
on the creature’s lip

down a metaphorical path
whose wobbly complex of wrong
destructive pieces

and powerful beauties
resembles this old
monster grappled up

by sailors heaving
on the ragged growling breast
of an ancient sea

and now here I am
scrambling over the stone face
peering into

the hot compound eyes
and wondering from the outskirts
of the fractured ground

if a tangle with
the handsome Bellerophon
on his magical

steed with the great and
poetic wings isn’t just
what I really need

Poetry in this post: © Sidney Wade
Published with the permission of Sidney Wade