January O’Neil

Home » Issue 87 » January O’Neil

January O’Neil

In the Blue Hour

I look for the Supermoon obscured by clouds,
listen to tree frogs, called peepers in New England,

their rhythmic chirp signaling the start of spring.
Tell me again about the absence of an hour

and I’ll tell you what it means to be present.
I tuck a strand of black hair behind one ear

lean in, listen to another language,
murmur of evening rising.


Evening rises with a murmur.
I lean in, listen to another language,

one strand of black hair tucked behind my ear.
Tell me what it means to be present

and I’ll tell you about the absence of an hour.
Rhythmic chirping signals the start of spring.

Peepers from New England? Or are they tree frogs?
The Supermoon is obscured by clouds. Look for it.


January O’Neil reads “In the Blue Hour”

January Gill O’Neil is an associate professor at Salem State University, and the author of Rewilding (2018), Misery Islands (2014), and Underlife (2009), all published by CavanKerry Press. From 2012-2018, she served as the executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, and currently serves on the boards of AWP, Mass Poetry, and Montserrat College of Art. The recipient of fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Cave Canem, and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, O’Neil was the 2019-2020 John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi, Oxford. She lives with her two kids in Beverly, MA.