Maureen Alsop & Josh Gottlieb-Miller


Maureen Alsop is the author of Apparition Wren, the collection was recently translated into Spanish by Mario Dominguez Parra from Tenerife, Spain.  Collaborative poems with Joshua have appeared at Switchback, Yemassee, Inertia, and others.

Joshua Gottlieb-Miller is the recipient of a 2012 Inprint Barthelme Prize in Poetry, awarded at the University of Houston. He has also received scholarships and fellowships from Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Journal, The Birmingham Review, Linebreak and elsewhere. His collaborative work with Maureen Alsop has appeared in Switchback, Poetry Salzburg Review, Yemassee, and elsewhere.


Before the storm I stood tasting the wink
of leaves, moss winding
into my mouth, what I could not see. Flowers
embalmed incense; her face
in the mid-dusk. A wild-warrior green
thicket under the Hawthorne, gloam
snaking away from where I first found her.

The photographer had as his goal photographing everyone he had ever met. Which necessitated travel to see many people he didn’t even remember he knew, also the influx of people on the way to these destinations. Polaroids helped, but sometimes he would see people at stoplights or in bars. Becoming a recluse didn’t help. People heard about him and started traveling to meet him, of course he let them in, that’s what the project was about all along. Desperately failing to capture everything.

I scratched a line into the horizon
line. I thought it best not to talk
of her. At the center of her lips,
a night long star flattened.

If he saw through awareness he would see the soul rehearsing its own destiny.

Collaboration can offer an access to mystery and spontaneity that’s otherwise easy to second guess.

For me it was more important not to understand the flowers or the photographer, but to let them respond to each other.

The poem is like a bicycle that thinks it’s a tricycle, and in feeling around for support with its third wheel, which doesn’t exist, ends up rising, for seconds, off the ground.