Weekly Poem: ‘This is a fugue for the lost art of aching’


By Heather Hartley

This is a place where all the keepsakes are sleeping.
Be ready.
Have a pastoral disregard for the taste of it all.
Mix the sweet and sour with jealousy.
Mix without hope, mix barbarically.
Because all the angels are out to lunch and send their regrets.
Because that’s what the family recipe calls for
and you must follow it.
Choices are left at the door by the duck shoes and pitchforks.
When you are old enough,
put all of this abandonment in a stew.
Make music, sit on a stranger’s lap and serve.


Heather Hartley is the author of “Knock Knock” (2010, Carnegie Mellon University Press). Hartley lives in Paris, where she is an editor of the literary magazine Tin House, curates Shakespeare & Company Bookshop’s weekly reading series and teaches creative writing and poetry at the American University of Paris.