Ange Mlinko

Ange Mlinko’s new collection of poems, Venice, was published last month.

When​ Edna St Vincent Millay was found dead at the bottom of the stairs in 1950, it came as an abrupt change in register – from Cinderella story to domestic tragedy, or addiction parable. She was 58. There was a wine glass and a bottle beside her, amid a spill of papers. Her husband, Eugen Boissevain, who had been her caretaker during their happily-ever-after of almost three decades,...

Two Poems

Ange Mlinko, 10 March 2022

September in the Capital

It’s an adulterer’s town, you see,with warrens – if not warrants –everywhere … stairs to a conspiracyof fountains foiling the hearing(while raking in the hush money)… cul-de-sacs, a low clearingwhere the costliest bottle decantsinside steakhouses, doorways’velvet drapes imparting olés;the lacquered black of sportutility...

Lydia Davis​ is big on lists. In her early short story ‘Break It Down’, the unnamed narrator attempts to balance financial and emotional ledgers in the aftermath of a love affair:

I’m breaking it all down. The ticket was $600 and then after that there was more for the hotel and food and so on, for just ten days. Say $80 a day, no, more like $100 a day. And we made love, say,...

Poem: ‘Moth Orchid’

Ange Mlinko, 12 August 2021

I like – don’t you? – that it has an insect tattooedin its sanctum sanctorum, a suitor’s pseud.That’s one aspect of its ghostliness, its moon-tones,its utter prescience, not to mention cojones.For if those speckles don’t answer to the footprintsof insects tramping through the moondustof its pollen, I don’t know what its six headdressesare for, or what...

Adrienne Rich’s​ poems speak so strongly to the current zeitgeist (dating from, say, the Occupy movement through #MeToo to Black Lives Matter) that it’s astounding – no, instructive – to realise they were written twenty, forty, fifty years ago:

at your tabletelephone ringsevery four minutestalkof terrible thingsthe papers bringingno good news       ...

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