Before Snowfall, After Rain

Ariel Francisco
ISBN: 978-0-9975805-0-1
23 pages

In Before Snowfall, After Rain, Ariel Francisco writes, "I was born in the city/ that never sleeps so perhaps/ insomnia is my birthright." Surely poetry is his birthright, too, the way Francisco never fails in every poem to make us see the ordinary world anew, even transfigured. In these poems, "morning arrives like an express train" and "winter arrives every year like a janitor," "the sky cr[ies] its apologies" and "the breeze ghost-/ writes the ocean's sorrow into tumbling waves." Here is a poet who, with skillful grace, graphs the heart's great landscape onto the natural world, showing how even water can be "jilted" like a lover, how "Even dead stars give us their light."

— Julie Marie Wade, author of Six and When I Was Straight
Cover by Madeleine Barnes

Sample poem from Before Snowfall, After Rain:

Silence over the Snowy Fields

for Robert Bly Through the plane's oval window: a harbor bites into the mainland like a great blue dragon. Heavy whiteness douses the landscape, forces it to forget what it looks like, what it is, like a mind that fails to recognize itself. Pinpricks of car headlights like cinder drifting through the world, the remains of a once great fire; dull azure of frozen lakes, visible in shapeless patches beneath the falling snow — the echoing nothingness of erasure — the sound of it settling on the iced surface.
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Ariel Francisco is a first generation American poet of Dominican and Guatemalan descent. He is currently completing his MFA at Florida International University where he is the editor-in-chief of Gulf Stream Literary Magazine and also the winner of an Academy of American Poets Prize. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Gulf Coast, Tupelo Quarterly, Washington Square, and elsewhere.