Chronic

Chronic

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by D. A. Powell
     
 

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The first poetry collection by D. A. Powell since his remarkable trilogy of Tea, Lunch, and
Cocktails, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award

so many of the best days seem minor forms of nearness
that easily falls among the dropseed: a rind, a left-behind
—from "no picnic"

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Overview

The first poetry collection by D. A. Powell since his remarkable trilogy of Tea, Lunch, and
Cocktails, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award

so many of the best days seem minor forms of nearness
that easily falls among the dropseed: a rind, a left-behind
—from "no picnic"

In these brilliant new poems from one of contemporary poetry's most intriguing, singular voices, D. A. Powell strikes out for the farther territories of love and comes back from those fields with loss, with flowers faded, "blossom blast and dieback." Chronic describes the flutter and cruelty of erotic encounter, temptation, and bitter heartsickness, but with Powell's deep lyric beauty and his own brand of dark wit.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Powell's long, stuttering line helps his extravagant imagination encompass the practical troubles long illness entails. No accessible poet of his generation is half as original, and no poet as original is this accessible.” —The New York Times Book Review on Cocktails
Library Journal
Love, loss, and death. Such are the great themes of poetry, which Powell has recast over four collections, fitting them to the shattering consequences of being gay—and HIV positive—in the age of AIDS. His current work is a love story that's also the story of how poetry might be written in the 21st century; here is an innovative reworking of poetics and breathtakingly extravagant lines set to snare you. Poetry lovers will tell you that a few of these poems are without parallel; read them to see where poetry is going.
Publishers Weekly

This fourth collection from Powell (Cocktails ) is simultaneously an accessible heartbreaker, a rare gem for connoisseurs, a genre-altering breakthrough and a long anticipated follow-up. The San Francisco-based poet has lived with, and written about, HIV for a decade, and his own illness remains a subject here; so does his celebration of gay eroticism, of love in the spirit and in the flesh. "Democrac" (Powell pointedly omits the "Y") shows 21st-century queer anguish and outrage: "does god discriminate, slashing some flags," it asks, while "farther above the chapels pale heaven expires." Powell goes on to investigate many more sources of sadness and happiness, solidarity and discontent: "Cancer inside a little sea" takes on environmental degradation: "child to come, what will you make of this scratched paradise." The unruly long lines of Powell's previous work here join more conventional-looking stanzaic lyrics; they join, too, two ultra-long poems, printed sideways, entitled "Cinemascope" and "centerfold." This book will be remembered for years, for its serious feelings, their swerves, their tears, its jokes. A poem to a crab louse abuts a scene from the biblical binding of Isaac, and a poem in which the Twin Towers fall segues from bedroom to public space and then back: "lips can say anything but first they say goodbye." (Feb.)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781555975166
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Publication date:
02/03/2009
Pages:
64
Sales rank:
1,151,231
Product dimensions:
7.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

D. A. POWELL is the author of Tea, Lunch, and Cocktails, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. He teaches at the University of San Francisco and lives in the Bay Area.

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Chronic 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
SirJahUso More than 1 year ago
What a great book! Slighty homogenous, rather unorthodox, vaguely familiar to e.e. cummings, and such a beautiful layout that includes a centerfold page(how original!). I thoroughly loved this book, and would recommend it to anyone who is intrigued by unethical methods of displaying the English language in a unique, absolutely superb way! Congratulations, Mr. Powell on this fine collection of poetry. Can't wait until your next book comes out!