Cocktails

Cocktails

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by D. A. Powell
     
 

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kids everywhere are called to supper: it's late it's dark and you're all played out. you want to go home

no rule is left to this game. playmates scatter like breaking glass they return to smear the ______. and you're it
--from "[you'd want to go to the reunion: see]"

In Cocktails, D. A. Powell closes his contemporary Divine Comedy with

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Overview

kids everywhere are called to supper: it's late it's dark and you're all played out. you want to go home

no rule is left to this game. playmates scatter like breaking glass they return to smear the ______. and you're it
--from "[you'd want to go to the reunion: see]"

In Cocktails, D. A. Powell closes his contemporary Divine Comedy with poems of sharp wit and graceful eloquence born of the AIDS pandemic. These poems, both harrowing and beautiful, strive toward redemption and light within the transformative and often conflicting worlds of the cocktail lounge, the cinema, and the Gospels.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Powell's third, and best, book completes his much-talked-about trilogy about growing up gay and uneasy in the age of HIV-and about living with the virus himself. "Cocktails" signifies both drinks on the town and a mix of anti-AIDS drugs; the pun is the first of many effective (if showy) doublings, ambiguities and slippery phrases throughout the book, some brightly flirtatious, others grave indeed. Powell divides the volume into "mixology," "filmography" and "bibliography": the poems of the first part begin from scenes, songs and friends, the second appropriate famously queer-centric films, and the third rings changes on episodes from the New Testament. Powell can allude and evade with the best of them, but he shows equal skill in pleas from the heart: "listen mother, he punched the air: I am not your son dying"; "what's the use of being pretty if I won't get better?" As in Tea, Powell (who now teaches at Harvard) uses the ultra-long line he deployed for agile grammatical feints and leaps; these poems, however, show a greater range, and far more versatile use of old-school precedents (from the Gospels to Renaissance pastoral), skillfully mixed with pop culture of all kinds. In one ode, emulating Odysseus, Powell croons "a dusty springfield song" to "a scant crew of leukocytes/ who have not mutinied"; "the mermaids beckon from the cape." It is not a journey to miss. (Mar.) Forecast: Powell's debut, Tea, fired up a critical following, some of which found the follow-up, Lunch, disappointing. Cocktails, by contrast, should land him national awards. Its strong theme could also translate to considerable coverage outside the usual poetry venues; if that happens, look for very expanded sales. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781555973957
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Publication date:
03/01/2004
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
72
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.01(h) x 0.24(d)

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