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« "Lesbian Corn" [by Elaine Equi] | Main | Mary Jo Salter on W. H. Auden (& more) in the new "Literary Matters" »

March 10, 2023


Thank you for reminding us of my surname's secret meaning.

Which reminds me of Ronald and Nancy Reagan's secret word, "Bonzo."

What did she say, the girl in the scarf?

It's quite a simple process. If a husband suspects
that his wife has been "taken over" by Lilith,
he asks for the secret word and then proceeds

Along similar lines, there's the Biblical
story of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah. Leah
was heartbroken that her younger sister
Rachel would be the first to get married.
So Rachel came up with a plan whereby Rachel
told Jacob a secret word and urged him
to ask her the secret word on their
wedding night. But then she also told
the secret word to Leah! The full story
of this is not told in the book of
Genesis but only in the biblical

So be careful out there --
only in the

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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