PF detail from Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Beach Scene, Guernsey (Children by the Sea in Guernsey) - 1883;


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Last updated:
April 2010


Alex Grant’s chapbook Chains & Mirrors(NCWN/Harperprints)won the 2006 Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize and the 2007 Oscar Arnold Young Award(Best North Carolina poetry collection). His full-length collection, Fear of Moving Water, a finalist for a number of national book contests, was released in 2009. A Pushcart nominee, he has received the Kakalak Anthology of Carolina Poets Prize and The Pavel Srut Poetry Fellowship, and his poems have appeared in many national journals, including The Missouri Review, Smartish Pace, Best New Poets 2007, Arts & Letters, Margie, The Connecticut Review and Verse Daily. He lives in Chapel Hill, NC, with his wife Tristi, his dangling participles and his Celtic fondness for excess. He can be found on the web at Read his recent interview here.

Euclid | Conquistador



- All knowledge can be derived from three things…

The strange geometry of the world
as it leans into you, pressing its circular
logic hard against your body, the tangents

and triangulations of this random arc of days
fighting for control, angled minutes and degrees
of separation shrinking and expanding like balloons

floating out to sea – the white triangled waves
reflecting clouds and stars and temporary colors –

a white breast curving like a new moon.



I said everything to them I could
to divert them from their idolatries,
and draw them to a knowledge of
our Lord.

                                 - Hernándo Cortés.

Syphilis and citrus, strange bedfellows
in the jungles of Hispaniola - stranger still

in the court of Charles of Spain, bloody
emissary of the Holy Roman Church – 

whose “New Spain of the Ocean Sea”
became your personal heart of darkness –

you slashed through green shoots, through
the knuckle–bruising roots and tendrils

of un-named plants and trees, glittering
cities in your mind’s eye blocking out

the ragged ridges of the Sierra de Neiba
the yellow crucifix a flashing lighthouse

perched above the reddest ocean in the world.