Weekly Feature: Poetry at The Arts Fuse

Welcome to “Poetry at The Arts Fuse.” A new poem, every Thursday.


Prayer of Origin


Pinochet, a close reader

Of the Tao

Says to himself


You have been a fire, now

Try being a river.


I would like to be a river a while:

The Yellow River, racing

Over the bones of Li Po

Or the Dnieper, singing past


Kaniv and Chernobyl

Or the Charles, swaggering

Down the oasis of dawn.


In the afterlife Pinochet studies hard.


After life

I’ll never rise

Again.  I’ll never


Leave, because, love

I am the reckless elk

Leaping across the highway


And I will be the lost horses

Of Ipswich, and the marshes

On Plum Island in a drizzle


And the easel

On which the sky rested.


And our first kiss.

And our last.



Askold Melnyczuk’s book of stories, The Man Who Would Not Bow, appeared in 2021.  His four novels have variously been named a New York Times Notable, an LA Times Best Books of the Year, and an Editor’s Choice by the American Library Association’s Booklist. He is also co-editor of From Three Worldsan anthology of Ukrainian Writers.  Founding editor of Arrowsmith Press, he has taught at Boston University, Harvard, Bennington College and currently teaches at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Note: Hey poets! We seek submissions of excellent poetry from across the length and breadth of contemporary poetics. See submission guidelines here. The arbiter of the feature is the magazine’s poetry editor, John Mulrooney.

Arts Fuse editor Bill Marx


  1. Ulana Zahajkewycz on June 1, 2023 at 1:05 pm

    Absolutely beautiful.

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