PoetryIssue 01 | November 2008

Four Poems by Sue Standing

Hotel Mande, Bamako, Mali

A paillote over the Niger, under which the fishermen pass,
furling and unfurling their nets in circles that hover
over the water for a moment, then drift down.

Across the river, boys cut the thick reeds that choke the waterways.
In their pirogues, they rock back and forth slightly as each takes a turn
severing the roots and stems of the reeds.

The Niger moves slowly here, and so do the women walking along the bank
with calabashes full of milk. Nearby, next to the tropical pool and riverside bar,
we toubabs are pinkening our white, white skins.

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About the author

Sue Standing, featured poet in Issue 1, permanently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but travels as much as she can. She has been awarded a Pushcart Prize for her short story, “Fast Sunday,” grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bunting Institute, and is currently on a Fulbright Research Scholarship at the University of Toulouse in France. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and literary magazines, including Agni, The American Poetry Review, American Scholar, The Atlantic Monthly, Denver Quarterly, The Iowa Review, The Nation, Ploughshares, and Southwest Review.  Her poems appear in several anthologies, including Conversation Pieces: Poems that Talk to Other Poems,  Deep Travel: Contemporary American Poets Abroad, and The Poetry of Solitude: A Tribute to Edward Hopper. She teaches creative writing and African literature at Wheaton College, in Norton, Massachusetts. Her most recent collection of poems is False Horizon (Four Way Books, 2003).

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok