Dirty Bomb

Dirty Bomb

by Mark Neely


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Robin Behn called Mark Neely’s first collection “nothing less than a mandala of the human spirit.” Now, in Dirty Bomb, his formidable talents take on a wider and more public dimension. This book of poems explores life in 21st-century America, particularly the juxtaposition of intimate human relationships with the politics and violence of U.S. militarism, terrorism, and the threat of environmental apocalypse. Oil tankers leak, atrocities play out across the internet, “the present / always drags the past into the future.” Yet Neely’s piercing intelligence and dry wit keep the poems light on their feet and unexpected in their perceptions. Angry, baffled, moon-drunk, and visionary, these poems chart the promise and the danger of America in fresh and memorable ways.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780932440495
Publisher: Oberlin College Press
Publication date: 04/07/2015
Series: Field Poetry
Pages: 80
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

MARK NEELY won the 2011 FIELD Poetry Prize for his first book, Beasts of the Hill. His poems have appeared in Gulf Coast, Columbia Poetry Review, Barrow Street, and elsewhere. He lives in Indiana and teaches at Ball State University.

Table of Contents

I Never Saw the Sea

A woman in Dior 3

Solomon's Wisdom 5

A blade of geese 6

At my mother's house I contemplate my teeth 7

First a forest burned 9

Like a mendicant 10

Once I was dangerous 11

Uncle Roger roars 12

Among the Machines of Virtue 13

I hold my breath 14

II Dirty Bomb

Each year gave us portals 17

I step away from the oil fires 18

More and more 19

Night Birds 21

Too good to be police 23

Humans are terrible drivers 24

The Last Romantics 26

I've been destroyed 27

Extremist Sonnet 28

Dirty Bomb 29

III The South

Odds 33

After a football game 34

Three girls 35

Painting 36

The South 37

I jump down from my soapbox 38

Those Who Favor Fire 40

IV The Legislature and the Lord Above

I saw you crossing Delaware 45

Heroin chic came back 46

The geese had lost their minds 47

I like the feeling of my fist 48

Poem for the Government 49

Social Media 50

Slow and stately survives 51

Occupy 52

Tailed by swirling buzzards I descended 53

Paul's Tree Care 54

The Legislature and the Lord Above 55

V Give Everything Away

I want the Internet to stop 63

I know what it is to be white 64

Celebrity Song 65

Photoshop 67

I came back from the East 68

Retrospective 70

Memorize the starry- 71

Summer Drowning 72

A Comedy 73

I left the comfort of the sea 74

Tonight I am kicking down the doors 75

Acknowledgments 79

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