A Literary Magazine in Support of the Jewish Community

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American Vertigo by Julie L. Moore

American Vertigo

       The night is full of holes

       As bullets rip the sky.

               —U2, “Vertigo”

It usually happens out of the blue

while tying my shoe or rising from bed

or turning my head to see

beyond my peripheral view.


                                                                   One nation


It’s dysphoric, as walls, ceiling, & floor

spin, no matter their constitutional hues,

dividing me from my body & all I thought

was true. A siren blares in my ears—


                                                                   under God


the noise of discord changes the endowed

state of the room into a tilt-a-whirl,

declaring a logic of violence as all sense

kaleidoscopes like shattered glass. There’s nothing




numinous to share, no self-evident reason

for my being in this confusing snare. I close

my eyes, lie on my side, hope for swift release.

This summer, though, a milder version


                                                                   with liberty


lasted all week. I could not speak a word

to right myself. So there I was, my canalith

a monolith of complaint, who had no tool

to make the crooked path straight.


                                                                   no justice,


Voices crystalized in their vestibule,

making their reality known, adding their furious

syllables to the hours, revealing that sometimes,

yesterday creeps past tomorrow, then records—say it!


                                                                   no peace.

Julie L. Moore

A Best of the Net and seven-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Julie L. Moore is the author of four poetry collections, including, most recently, Full Worm Moon, which won a 2018 Woodrow Hall Top Shelf Award and received honorable mention for the Conference on Christianity and Literature's 2018 Book of the Year Award. Her poetry has appeared in African American Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Image, New Ohio Review, Poetry Daily, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, and Verse Daily. She is the Writing Center Director at Taylor University, where she is also the poetry editor for Relief Journal. Learn more about her work at julielmoore.com.



Julie L. Moore