American Dream With Exit Wound

American Dream With Exit Wound

by Dawn McGuire


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Poetry. In this new collection by the award-winning poet and neurologist Dawn McGuire, the American Dream is an ironic construct at the end of Empire. Here, returning soldiers bring "hazardous materials" home in their bodies and minds; while home is increasingly a battleground of addiction and disaffection. In "Limbics," the book's middle section, the neurological "old brain" speaks. Jealousy, rage, and anxious intuition overwhelm all reason; while desire is that resistless force by which we are "first made / inflamed, destroyed / then raised to aerial ash / again and again." In "Ghosts," the final section, inevitable losses of love, will, memory, and capacity become the psyche's "missing children." They haunt us, and sometimes steal our names.These poems confront deeper wounds in body, mind, and body politic, wounds that science can neither name nor remedy. There is strong medicine here, transgressive and redemptive.

"McGuire's poems intercept the reader in an 'emergency room' of language, then roll in the crash cart, starting with this heart-shock title: AMERICAN DREAM WITH EXIT WOUND. McGuire is inspired by her work with post 9/11 vets, by her brain research as a neurologist and her immersion in myth. You will take your life in your hands as you read these super-charged poems-and you will…'come to' with an exit wound: by which I mean to say a whole new consciousness of what poetry is, what poetry can do, and how poetry urgently matters."—Carol Muske-Dukes

"It's taken almost five hundred years for science to awaken from its post- Cartesian love affair with rationality, and re-acknowledge what the Greeks knew: the gods are an unruly lot. Their Olympus is the untamable, amoral, 'limbic' core from which our most base and most exalted passions arise. McGuire, both a neuroscientist and a classics-infused poet, lights up the limbic brain, then makes it sing like a drunken Caruso."—David Shaddock

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780985977375
Publisher: IF SF Publishing
Publication date: 04/15/2017
Pages: 80
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Dawn McGuire is a neurologist and author of three poetry collections, including AMERICAN DREAM WITH EXIT WOUND (IF SF Publishing, 2017) and THE APHASIA CAFÉ (IF SF Publishing, 2012), winner of the 2013 Indie Book Award for Poetry. She grew up in the Appalachian region of Kentucky and was educated at Princeton University, Union Theological Seminary, and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. She lives and works in Northern California.

Table of Contents

Invocation to the Muse 11

Hazardous Materials 12

Hazmat 15

65th and Telegraph 16

Isis in Eddyville 17

Watertown Nights 18

Special Ops 19

Ecce Homo 20

Ubershadow 22

Situation Room 23

American Dream with Exit Wound 24

After Finding a Firefighter's Ax at the Thrift Store 26

Limbics 28

Found 31

Jealousy 32

Tin Star 34

Love in the Skilled Nursing Unit 35

Juvenalia 36

Another Fragment 31 38

An-Elegy 39

Essentials 40

Antipode 41

Looking Closely 42

Ode to Entropy 44

My Friend is Convinced it's the Turmeric 46

You've Got Mail 48

The Same Thing Happened in Iconium 49

Orbe 50

Ode to Gears 52

Absolutely 54

Ghosts 56

Everything About the Subject 59

Gorilla Dreams 60

Text for Two Deserts 61

Crossing Conditions 62

Kin 64

Consistently Wrong 65

Brain at Dusk 66

Diastema 68

On Polishing 69

Brother H and Sister Birch 70

Ghost 72

I Am Almost, the Street 74

If You Can't See My Mirrors 75

On the Immortality of the Soul 76

Listen to the Birds 78

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