The MFA in Creative Writing Program at Manhattanville College

July 7th, 2016

2 poems


I imagine loneliness feels
Something like this:
Coming down exhausted in the sun,
Laying ourselves against the rusted light,
No money or friends, and only the drift
Of a streetlamp’s pale shadow
Telling its story of haloed roads
Where the empty circulation of the wind
Is the only sound
With its dark, salient voices.


Olly Playing God

Olly dabbles in a mixing
Of the light.
He moves an emerald shadow
From the soft edges of the wood
And drops it over London.
A deciduous spring cloud
That makes the people dream.

Or he pulls an errant bat
From a deep sump of darkness
And lets it zigzag through
The bright pacific.
The observing fish grow wings,
And one ambitious slug
Scurries up to become a star.

He gets bored and makes
Dark muscles for the trees,
Puts beautiful hearts
In spots beneath the bark.
They tell him old stories
In a language made of ash
And petals.

He does and undoes the alchemy
Of the soul.
Pixelates blood and consciousness.
Here animating the neural gloom
Of swamps,
Here giving burning nectar
To the rifle-colored rose.


Seth Jani currently resides in Seattle, WA and is the founder of Seven CirclePress ( His own work has been published widely in such places as The Coe Review, The Hamilton Stone Review, Hawai`i Pacific Review, VAYAVYA, Gingerbread House and Gravel. More about him and his work can be found at

What motivates him to create?
I think of writing as a kind of gardening, or maybe a work of verbal biology. Words are like pollen from the big trees of language; the poet’s job is to follow it, learning to detail the intricate dance of the flora and fauna. I write out of a kind of naturalist’s fascination.

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