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This book has a light amount of wear to the pages, cover and binding. Blue Cloud Books ??? Hot deals from the land of the sun.

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Condition: Good
Clean, solid copy, but has a good-sized bend mark running diagonally from the fore edge (approx. 3"L) that runs through the entire book. Bend falls in the margin for most of the ... text and doesn't affect readability. No writing or marks to text. Cover has evidence of handling. There is a bend running across the spine surface, but there are no reading creases. Binding is firm and square. Cosmetically flawed, but a good reading copy for personal use. Read more Show Less

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2000 Paperback Good Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, and may not ... include cd-rom or access codes. Customer service is our top priority! Read more Show Less

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Condition: Like New
2000 Paperback Fine 091406181x clean, unmarked copy.

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Condition: Very Good
Alexandria, VA 2000 Soft Cover VG White wraps with photo portrait of author, 8vo. 183pp. Notes. VG. Mild rolling crease across lower corner of volume, with little effect save ... for light curl to front wraps. Slight curl/bump upper front corner. Textblock bright, sharp and unmarked; binding tight and square. Read more Show Less

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Paperback, used book. Very good or better. Inscribed by author. Poetry.

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Condition: Like New
2000 Trade paperback First edition. Fine. No dust jacket as issued. Signed by author. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. Audience: General/trade.

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More About This Book

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780914061816
  • Publisher: Orchises Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Pages: 183
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


The time it took he could have
crawled—on the hairs of his knuckles,
on his eyelids, on his teeth.
He could have chewed his way.
In a place without friction
he could have reinvented the wheel.
But he wanted you to be
proud of him, so he invented
the telephone before he called.


—For Ann Ford

She sits in the expanse the sun leaves
when its wake has parted
and run on into the afternoon
and thinks of the calm which burns off
before the sun is well up.
After the morning food of light comes
this ebb and dryness, rocks and mudflats
emerging within the cove,
patches of brown among brown-green,
colors stirring in a slack breeze.
If she were offshore
she would let the sails luff and her boat
go aground. With the tide and wind coming in,
she would run before them
wing and wing, and leaving the islands behind,
be home when the traffic begins, when her boys
trail up from the beach
and her husband arrives on the 5:14.


d. Man of War Key, March 1, 1965

I found the land above the river, where
the river meets the sea, fallen off
into the Sound.
                 Ann writes to me, Hobey,
that you have drowned in your own years.
There was no fault in the massed earth,
nor was there in the sea. The fault
fell at birth, and whatever rooted
in the broken land—cedars, rockwart,
or the great and other sea birds:
dependent creatures, nested in the bluff—
knew it was there, and loved
the hollow where the sea resounded.
Summer upon summer the Sound
fell upon the mouthing river,
striped bass and bluefish wandered
among the rocks, weed creatures scavenged
in a breakwater wash. Broad summers
we have known the land would shift;
we could not catch the momentary trembles
but saw, on morning walks, sand fill
our footprints, and found new boulders
in the sea below the bluff. We know
of sea, that it breaks the whole world down,
or builds it, in some other sea.
Friday. Cedars, terns, crustaceans.
But as if a part of the land mass had fallen,
it is quiet as the sun rises above the Sound.


So you have built your house strong
yourself, and no one comes in
but knocks, and comes in as a guest.
And you no longer desire
to request anything beyond
this land, which belongs to you.
Oh, you are right, that you were
wrong to borrow and rent and
not invest in something of
your own. For the rest, one's
neighbors are the world and life
is long.
          Or that is your view
as you sit behind your fence,
behind your lawn, window and
table. One comprehends so
little of the block beyond
one's block, and one has such an
understanding with one's self,
that it is only common
sense not to credit fables,
to order groceries by
telephone, and mind the locks.


I forced the pheasants' eyes until
they burst in the hot solarium.
What was left, later, was spaghetti
stuck in a pan, a handful of wet hair.
I stored them in a cold cellar.
Those small compulsive ants
lick the sappy membranes from the buds
on the peonies. They click their tongues
like a man with mechanical knees.
A white fungus performs on the lawn.
Slivers of thick green, onions, husks,
red sparks in a white corolla,
crocuses, then a rotary mower.
Daffodils like yellow cups and saucers
—brittle dreams need a brittle glue.
But if aphids get into the roses
I will dust them, with a fatal talc.


The stanchions leaned open and a faint
phosphate dust drifted in the barn
as we set out across the acreage
drawing and stapling as we went.
By evening, when the cows waited
to be led through the pasture gate,
a ductile web embraced the locusts
weathering against Culver's north ridge.
The fence stretched taut through the months
of seeding and spraying. In August
when the first cutting had been baled
and mowed, the one inch staples had bitten
well into the trunks of the locusts
and a thin cork crept over the wire.
The trees' roots groped in the soil. The fence
began to put out leaves and leafy twigs.
We were hauling stones and pouring
concrete for the new milk house, when John Culver
sprained his back, but the men from Dover
continued work on the glass pipeline.
Steam, rising from ensilage, mixed
with smells of grain and molasses
as we forked corn and broke bales of hay
to the rows of Holstein faces.
Rust from the fence leached upward
in the veins of the locusts, until
the trees, at last, are like trees grafted
to a metal fence. Their leaves turn
rust color, and do not fall; their branches
bud with small thorns. All winter
the trees and their tenacious vines wound
tighter. An orange blaze tears the air.


I have only the sound of your steps
        to guide me in this wilderness.

           —Rabindranath Tagore, "The Cycle of Spring"

I have brought you the wrong way, and I'm sorry.
The path you wanted is back, out of the thickets
of rhetoric; follow the trampled plants.
Metaphor began with words, and metaphor
misleads: buttercup and columbine are weeds,
they have no healing powers. Shallows of color,
texture and euphony make no flowers last.
The inscriptions of hawthorns cling.
And there is no truth beyond logic—surely
you have walked in circles looking.
Meadows grow into forests, and wilderness
clearings erode or strangle in neglect.
Perhaps there was a valley, and a path,
though this path ended. Love is a conceit
earned in commitment; we are unintentional
liars. My figure has led you to briars.


got a wheelbarrow
plenty of sorrow


It may have been a waste of time
from here, to go back through
and hear myself confess that I
am an ex-florist, to harangue
myself in the greenhouse, to hear
the echoes that would have been there,
to prune and prune and pick
the slivered glass, witness
the execution of an act of love,
sweep together one last confusion
of orchids, and take them for myself.


So much for the holiday.
Wrap the snow up in snow
and put it away. Scrape
the bones down to the bone.
Take a plane home.
Remember to see what
you saw. Having said what you
had to say, make a return
out of staying away.


In heat so thick you can fuck it
bald faces of lovers come swelling
and blossoming back. Hog-white
they erupt from black water and float
on a loitering musk. Great ferns
converse by the sea. Hyla frogs croon.
Swamp water laps at the moon.
Up through the difficult grasses,
through the skulls of old Plymouths,
on the breath of the poisonous river,
under the trestle, down by the depot,
in the streets of this sweaty town,
when every sign in the road
is a twelve-year-old boy or a cop—
Do not look at me like a tired
remorseful mother, like a list
of errands to run. I have come here
to remember, come as a junkman,
a tramp with a wheelbarrow.
Summer rain, summer rain,
I have come to drain the marshes.
Read More Show Less

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2009

    Superb Collection

    This beautiful book is a superb collection of witty, deft, and judiciously selected poems by one of the liveliest, yet unaccountably obscure poets in America. A single page from the various, many-sided outrageous voice of Peter Klappert will enthrall and delight. Of all ways to approach Klappert's work, this is the best, with a small group of poems from _The Idiot Princess_ to a generous sampling of Klappert's later work. And the volume is a delight to hold and look at!

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