``Tell me a story,'' insists White; whatever has passed, ``will you not bring it back/ To our table like ordinary bread?'' White himself tells grim tales of war's ravages, psychic as well as physical; of ``tundra storm, barbed wire, blood./ Such a history of melting candles to endure''; of runaways ``With an appointment to rehearse the doorway music''; of a ``3-season, slate-gray town/ that helped invent the rain.'' But somehow the poems themselves are not grim. They have an air of fable, of magic that allows them gracefully to illuminate life's darker side. Occasionally there is overwriting, but White is a poet worth watching. In irradiant language he asks hard questions about how we manage given what we know, and he neither expects, nor gives, easy answers. Recommended. Barbara Hoffert, ``Library Journal''