From the Publisher
“Whether she is speaking of a place, a picture, or an ordinary supper with friends, Jenny Barber's poetry is at once vivid and delicate. In a poem called 'The Storm at Sun Up' she writes: 'a skirt whirls over/the skirts of lettuces,/sensual and sheer.' With these two final adjectives, she could be describing her own work.” Linda Pastan
“Jennifer Barber's poems are sensual, attentive lyrics which move with a growing necessity and insight and surprise. I am grateful for this fine book.” Jean Valentine
“'The Pathology of Proximity' haunts the corrosive sweetness of urban night in Mark Bibbins's poems--proximity of lovers and their absence, torn phrases, 'thinning ice cubes,' 'the harvest moon, bloated and sexual.' Friends die of AIDS, 'Bluebeard sharpens his axe.' No wonder the narrator remarks, "I have always felt safer in transit.' Yet Bibbins also has the courage to stop, to pin down the always irrational present moment, and the reader is eager to follow, to inhale its scathing or enticing perfume. Swerve's tire-marks announce the arrival of a brilliant young poet.” John Ashbery
“Maggie Nelson brings a deft and unflagging wit to her writing and her powers of invention never quit. I love the way all she says keeps moving, insistent, often abrasive, like they say, and always specific. Can it get any better? I don't think so.” Robert Creeley
“Fresh, breezy, but edgy, here are Maggie Nelson's The Scratch-Scratch Diaries, full of disconnections and witty reassemblings. Do you wonder what the 21st century will bring to the poetic voice? Look to this talented young poet's alluring combination of deftness and vulnerability.” Molly Peacock
Read an Excerpt
Take Three: 3
By Askold Melnyczuk
Graywolf Press ISBN: 1-55597-282-9
Chapter One from Vendaval by Jennifer Barber:
STORM AT SUN UP The garden grows frantic with the scratch of wings abandoning the pear to vendaval, whose moan is almost human which is why the wives have sleepless nights and the children wake more than once. Dozing in his yard, the rooster takes the storm as something against him. The bleary hens, still dazed, rattle their alarm too early, too late to be of any use. The sun is up. The wind is blowing and blowing. Hung up next to grief with wooden pins, a skirt whirls over the skirts of lettuces, sensual and sheer, half fastened, half undone.
1998 by Jennifer Barber. All rights reserved.
From Swerve by Mark Bibbins: WHITMAN ON THE BEACH We sit on barstools, two random flowers at the edge of a pool, baffled by our reflections and by our thoughts of how the inevitable kiss goodnight will be negotiated. When you get up to go buy cigarettes I imagine what it would be like never to see you again. Walt Whitman recited Shakespeare to the cold waves at Coney Island- sonnets floating like rafts, line by line, toward shores on the other side of the world. I settle for mumbling a few lines I had written about you into my cocktail. By the time you return, I have finished the drink and forgotten the words. I stir the thinning ice cubes to see if they remember. You should listen to what they say. This may be your only opportunity to hear what I think of you.
1998 by Mark Bibbins. All rights reserved.
From The Scratch-Scratch Diaries by Maggie Nelson: STY TOWN Wake to an August so mild and genuine New York is always right outside It won't ever be like this again Great green summer of the mind A row of men play chess in the heat As taxi cabs slowly circle One quiet, resurrected street The sky is a nubile purple And the air has the aroma Of a public pool. The day makes Its misty slide into night And just when it seems too late A woman will walk by Her name written in water
CYRCYR by COP[Maggie Nelson]COP
Excerpted from Take Three: 3 by Askold Melnyczuk Excerpted by permission.
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