about the author

J. M. Baker received his MFA from UC San Diego in 2016. His work has appeared in The Brooklyn Review, The Antioch Review, Phoebe, and Epiphany, among other places. Since 2007, he has been organizing and running poetry workshops for kids in under-served communities, with projects to date in Soweto, South Africa; Mumbai, India; Brooklyn, New York; and South Central Los Angeles. He currently teaches in the Boston area.


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One Poem  

J. M. Baker



root 3

...whence burial place derives from graef from grafan to dig hence to engrave near to grauis renders heavy hence (inscribed)...


a footprint, a clocktower, and meanwhile are made of syllables. you jot parts of the day on scraps of paper hoping that one day what you’ve amassed will assemble itself. in the dream we did not arrive at the sea but arrived at a dream of the sea. rings of autumn that bleed through the paper.


.....akin to snawe confer sneeaw and snehas stickiness, comes to mean one gets wet, from the accusative nipha and nominative nix (against nyx) as the s- disappeared (-nowblind)...


you’re fearful by nature of things too small to see, like fissures, or how planes keep in the sky. there are natural oils in the fingers. they eat at the surfaces of things.


.....to flex root in flectere to curve inward (in word) akin to plectere to plait, interlace (seam or seem) bend back turn again refract light...


in the dream there are doors and words that won’t open. in the cupboard brittle spiders are curled. when the birds are overfeatured they cease to be telling, so I dreamt I was a child learning to speak in the dark.





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