» Poetry

The Illinois & Love, This I Know:

The Illinois

Frank Lloyd Wright’s mile high


skyscraper dream had 528 stories,


and atomic powered elevators.


It makes you think of a caterpillar.


Maybe we are all one caterpillar,


and our apocalypse is a chrysalis?



Love, This I Know:

My face was not my face

until it lost your trace.


Heartbreak is the power

to flower a flower.


Love is summer snow

& words are pajamas:


Fire won’t burn my hand

and miss, kiss, mere air.


Love can no more carry

my heart than a suitcase.


We have passed by

stand-ins & sentries—


There is the ‘one’

& ‘two’ or ‘three’


Never touch like we!


Walk on winter sand

we in we & in we?


(Wait, let me take a breath

& laugh today at death…)



Tom Paine

Tom Paine’s poetry is upcoming or published in The Nation, Glasgow Review of Books, The Moth Magazine (Ireland), Blackbox Manifold (England), Volt, Fence, Forklift Ohio, Epiphany, The Common, Green Mountain Review, Tinderbox, Hunger Mountain, Hotel Amerika, Gulf Stream, Tampa Review, World Literature Today and elsewhere. Stories have been published in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The New England Review, The Boston Review, Best New Southern Stories, The O. Henry Awards and twice in the Pushcart Prize. He has won fellowships from Sewanee, Yaddo, and Bread Loaf, and written for Francis Ford Coppola. His first collection, Scar Vegas (Harcourt), was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a Pen/Hemingway finalist. He is an associate professor in the MFA program at the University of New Hampshire.