Steven Cramer


"For instance, take the art of sitting down.
I've just begun learning how it's done—

the calves and hamstrings tightening,
the balls of the feet accommodating

a few more micrograms of gravity
along the spinal column, the vertebrae

stiffening to hold the torso upright,
knees unlocking, tendons slackening to let

them bend; then—settling, spreading—the rump
adapting to, adopting, the seat's shape:

mechanics wise as this will take the body
roughly a year to master; but a mind

like mine, apparently, took seventy
to get the sheer sweetness of that wisdom."

Steven Cramer is the author of four poetry collections: The Eye that Desires to Look Upward (1987), The World Book (1992), Dialogue for the Left and Right Hand (1997), and Goodbye to the Orchard, to be published in 2004 by Sarabande Books. His poems and criticism have appeared in numerous literary journals, including The Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, The New Republic, The Paris Review, Partisan Review, Poetry, and Triquarterly; as well as in The POETRY Anthology, 1912-2002. Recipient of fellowships from the Massachusetts Artists Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, he has taught literature and writing at Bennington College, Boston University, M.I.T., Tufts University, and in low-residency MFA program at Queens University, Charlotte. He is currently Program Coordinator for the low-residency MFA program in creative writing at Lesley University in Cambridge. He lives with his wife, Hilary, and their two children, Charlotte and Ethan, in Lexington, Massachusetts.