“Object” by Jonathan Monroe

Bust of Demosthenes by C.C. Felton (1807-1862)

Bust of Demosthenes by C.C. Felton (1807-1862)


by Jonathan Monroe

Some purpose mounted on the wall. A target date for propositions. Concrete instances in thrall. One magic carpet frazzled, frayed. Sample exhibitions on display. In which direction, nothing moved. The shape of the shadow the shadow made. What size manacles did he wear? The finders free when less is more. Minimum strategies. Maximal selves.

Jonathan Monroe is a Professor of Comparative Literature at Cornell University. He is the author or editor of several scholarly books. “Object” is from his 2009 collection of prose poems and short fiction, Demosthenes’ Legacy. The poem is reprinted here by permission of the author.

About Okla Elliott

I am currently an assistant professor at Misericordia University in northeast Pennsylvania. I hold a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Illinois, an MFA in creative writing from Ohio State University, and a legal studies certificate from Purdue University. My work has appeared in Cincinnati Review, Harvard Review, The Hill, Huffington Post, Indiana Review, The Literary Review, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, A Public Space, and Subtropics, as well as being listed as a "notable essay" in Best American Essays 2015. My books include From the Crooked Timber (short fiction), The Cartographer’s Ink (poetry), The Doors You Mark Are Your Own (a coauthored novel), Blackbirds in September: Selected Shorter Poems of Jürgen Becker (translation), and Bernie Sanders: The Essential Guide (nonfiction).
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