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.
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||7.00(w) x 9.01(h) x 0.24(d)|
About the Author
D. A. Powell is the author of Tea and Lunch. He is Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Poetry at Harvard University.
Read an Excerpt
By D.A. Powell
Graywolf PressCopyright © 2004 D.A. Powell
All right reserved.
Chapter One[the cocktail hour finally arrives: whether ending a day at the office] the cocktail hour finally arrives: whether ending a day at the office or opening the orifice at 6am [legal again to pour in californica]: the time is always right we need a little glamour and glamour arrives: plenty of chipped ice a green jurassic palm tree planted. a yellow spastic monkey swinging a pink classic flamingo impaled upon the exuberant read of cherries dash of bitters. vermouth sweet. enough rye whiskey to kill this longing: I take my drinks stiff and stuffed with plastic. like my lovers my billfold of rubbers. OPENs my mouth: its tiny neon lounge [college roommate gone: his hamper full. I'll do us both a favor] My Beautiful Launderette (1985, Stephen Frears, dir.) college roommate gone: his hamper full. I'll do us both a favor sorting his socks like demented wife. smoothing the pillowcase its callipygous dent splayed bonewhite: spluttered where I laid him what is a friend but a lover held at bay? we find our quarry want to tear each other: canines exposed. our leashes tangle grant us the safety of fenced-in yards: we worry the neighbors love is seldom a dull chore: I know how to fold his t-shirts how they smell before and after. washing and tumbling piggish delight the rooting after truffles. whiff and snout in his absence I build a model of him. clothed in white undies starched where he's starched and softened where he's soft I use his favorite bounce. bleach-free tide to hinder chafing in separate rooms we count on our fingers the passing hours we know the way each door swings open: how to find each other agitating in the dark: sheets snaps elastic and those clumsy buttons [listen mother, he punched the air: I am not your son dying] a stabat mater listen mother, he punched the air: I am not your son dying the day fads and the starlings roost: a body's a husk a nest of goodbye his wrist colorless and soft was not a stick of chewing gum how tell? well a plastic bracelet with his name for one. & no mint his eyes distinguishable from oyster show? only when pried open she at times felt the needle going in. felt her own sides cave. she rasped she twitched with a palsy: tectonic plates grumbled under her feet soiled his sheets clogged the yellow BIOHAZARD bin: later to be burned soot clouds billowed out over the city: a stole. a pillbox hat [smart city] and wouldn't the taxis stop now. and wouldn't a hush smother us all the vascular walls graffitied and scarred. a clotted rend in the muscle wend through the avenues throttled t-cells. processional staph & thrush the scourge the spike a stab a shending bile the grace the quenching mother who brought me here, muddler: open the window. let birds in
Excerpted from Cocktails by D.A. Powell Copyright © 2004 by D.A. Powell. Excerpted by permission.
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Table of Contents
|[the cocktail hour finally arrives: whether ending a day at the office]||3|
|[this is what you love: more people. you remember]||4|
|[he would care for me as a stranger: courtesy clerk. so quick]||5|
|[writing for a young man on the redline train: "to his boy mistress"]||6|
|[in the elegant days of downtown: we sunned on the porch]||8|
|[gardenhose dilated with rain: a puff adder]||9|
|[winter moon summer moon budding moon barley moon]||11|
|[a happiest harbinger to you: here spring]||12|
|[chapt. ex ex ex eye vee: in which scott has a birthday]||13|
|[dogs and boys can treat you like trash. and dogs do love trash]||14|
|[12-line poem, seemingly out of place]||15|
|[the mind of moss: sitting here by the reflecting pool]||16|
|[when you touch down upon this earth. little reindeers]||17|
|[this little treatment has side effects: side effects]||18|
|[hope you like this new doctor: rachel says in hopeful tones]||19|
|[my lover my phlebotomist. his elastic fingers encircle my arm]||20|
|[robe and pajamas, steadfast and softer than anyone who touched me]||23|
|[a mule-drawn scraper packed this earth: levees]||24|
|[I was a priapic boy: the prow of a galleon]||26|
|[a boy at 15 can't be too tough: approximate masculinity]||27|
|[every man needs a buddy. who'll do]||28|
|[college roommate gone: his hamper full. I'll do us both a favor]||30|
|[the man in the front row: uniformed. ugly as my father the disillusioned]||31|
|[morning broke on my cabin inverted. tempest in my forehead]||33|
|[fortune drives a finned convertible: her blond wig shifts in the wind]||35|
|[you'd want to go to the reunion: see]||36|
|[so the theatre dimmed and reclined. cramped balcony rubbed against my leg]||38|
|[the atrium of the heart beckons with pendulous lips]||40|
|[my lot to spin the purple: that the tabernacle should be made]||43|
|[unsheathed the sword and cut the veil. visible the planet red]||46|
|[he tastes the air with his tongue. his eyes a gory kitling]||47|
|[my riches I have squandered. spread with honey]||49|
|[strange flower in my hands. porphyry shell. clipped wool]||50|
|[they hear the clapping of the bell and are afraid]||51|
|[torch to the stubble of the fields: the harvest has ended]||52|
|[slightly foetid. foetal and stooped. an afterbirth of rags]||53|
|[the heavenly noise of domesticity murmurs in the kitchen: clink]||54|
|[not a waking mutter. the locusts in cessation]||55|
|[because I were ready before destruction. bearing the sign of his affliction]||56|
|[listen mother, he punched the air: I am not your son dying]||57|
|[the ice hadn't cracked. stingy ground: frozen with its hoard of bulbs]||58|
|[A characters not reproducible]||60|
|[came a voice in my gullet: rise up and feast. thunderous]||61|
|[when he comes he is neither sun nor shade: a china doll]||62|
|[coda & discography]||65|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is an awesome collection to have in one's own library. It brings the reader into an interesting world far from one's own. Everyone should own Powell works, along with Ohio Blue Tips by Jeanne E. Clark, The Photos In The Closet by Daniel E. Lopez, and works by Alison Townsend.