Stephen Cramer


Stephen Cramer’s first book of poems, Shiva’s Drum, was selected for the National Poetry Series and published by University of Illinois Press. Bone Music, his sixth,won the Louise Bogan Award and was published by Trio House Press. His most recent is The Disintegration Loops. He is the editor of Turn It Up! Music in Poetry from Jazz to Hip-Hop. His work has appeared in journals such as The American Poetry Review, African American Review, The Yale Review, and Harvard Review. An Assistant Poetry Editor at Green Mountains Review, he teaches writing and literature at the University of Vermont and lives with his wife and daughter in Burlington.



Tonight, it looks like the stars have had a few. Orion   is skinny dipping in puddles, choreographing sweet dance moves   with a streetlamp. Actually,  everything is clearly intoxicated,    from the scent of rain  laced with pine to the grass    tilting beneath our feet.  Let’s face it: as of the most   recent assessment, the day  seems to have had a deficit   of awesome. I mean, even if  the task we’ve been given                                is to make a house  out of a hurricane, to make    walls with the whirlwind,  to board by board create    the floor we walk on, what choice do we have    but to drive lightless all night & honk at all the moths?   It’s far past time to walk  a shattered sidewalk that hasn’t    already memorized my stride, to speak with an eloquence that tends to slur   into grunt & groan, time to  all night long hook elbows with awe.