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City of Corners

Overview

“While others are busy catching their own reflection in the storefront of poetry, [John] Godfrey goes to work on the damage and squalor of the overlooked. His genius rings true.”—Peter Gizzi

With an enemy
like daylight who needs
the psychology dime
Hips do the work
and I cross the world

A longtime resident ...

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Overview

“While others are busy catching their own reflection in the storefront of poetry, [John] Godfrey goes to work on the damage and squalor of the overlooked. His genius rings true.”—Peter Gizzi

With an enemy
like daylight who needs
the psychology dime
Hips do the work
and I cross the world

A longtime resident of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, John Godfrey works as a registered nurse in New York City, where he cares for homebound AIDS patients in Brooklyn and Queens. City of Corners is his sixth collection of poetry.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Godfrey's jumpy, sometimes disjointed poems belong to an exciting recent tradition: they describe day-to-day, block-to-block, moment-to-moment life in the downtown Bohemia of New York, as Ted Berrigan (among others) did in the 1960s and 1970s. In short lines and disconnected phrases, Godfrey considers the ups and downs of sexual attraction ("Wind tunnels as sun lowers/ Hard nipples in B cups") and the ever-changing cityscapes he sees ("Drop you at the A train/ Droplets baffle headlights/ World shares lightlessness with me"). Godfrey (who works as a nurse for homebound AIDS patients) puts together poems that seem more lyrical and unified with repeated readings, though still close to unpremeditated speech: "Restlessness," he says, "is a sort of payment/ for all the moments that fail to transport," and restlessness seems to Godfrey (Private Lemonade) desirable in itself, even the basis of his art. He sounds best when authentically ecstatic, or when giving terse advice: "Suggest rather than decide/ Don't trust depictions of life." This eighth book should please readers who yearn to see the newest results of Berrigan's downtown aesthetic, or who simply enjoy Godfrey's earnest, distractable, willingly unpolished approach. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933517315
  • Publisher: Wave Books
  • Publication date: 8/1/2008
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 4.80 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


John Godfrey was born in northernmost New York State in 1945. While an undergraduate at Princeton University he began publishing poems in mimeo-mags on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where he lives to this day. Currently he works with homebound AIDS patients in Brooklyn and Queens.
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Table of Contents

Waiting There 9

Depends 10

Comes with Galore 11

All the Hair 12

Lance 13

Slide 14

Each Hair 15

The Deadpan 16

Starling 17

Convenience 18

The Particles 19

On the Platform 21

A Thorn 22

In the Clouds 23

Hang Better 24

Beat It 25

Cradle 26

Silhouette 27

A Selection 28

Straining to Hear 29

City of Corners 30

Floss at the Barbecue 31

Rooftops Begin 32

Loops 33

109,894 34

Then Her Face 35

Hurt 36

A Small Fraction 37

Full Sister 38

Your Froth 39

Fireball 40

Relay 41

Ebb 42

Across the Way 43

Bathroom Mirror 44

Four Feet 45

Memorably Low 46

Perilous Things 47

Into the Mural 48

Persuade 49

Last Hair 50

Chill Off 52

With Fictions 53

Pity 54

Doorstops 55

Tissues 56

Nearly Perfect 57

Newcomers 58

Free Fall 59

End of It 60

Passageways 61

Backseat Talk 63

Around the World 64

Trees 66

The One Who Turns 67

Swept Away 68

Smoothest Cheek 69

Any Country on Earth 70

At Bay 71

Through the Wall 72

Don't Reach 73

Puce Shoe 74

A Little Shredded 75

The Price 76

Realm 77

Definitive Targets 78

Requital 79

Walking Uphill 80

Remedy 81

To Get Streetlight 82

Get Help 83

Accent Geography 84

Affinity 85

The Signs 86

One Percent 87

Hand Shy 88

Train Maybe Comes 89

How to Do What 90

To Go On 91

Over Your Heels 92

Take My Eyes 94

Bones 95

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