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Bruce Snider’s third poetry collection grapples with what it means to be childless in a world obsessed with procreation. Poems move between the scientific and the biblical, effortlessly sliding from the clinical landscape of a sperm bank to Mount Moriah as Abraham prepares Isaac for sacrifice. Exploring issues of sexuality, lineage, and mortality, Snider delves into subjects as varied as the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky; same-sex couple adoption; and Gregor Mendel’s death in 1884. Each poem builds into a broader examination of power and fragility, domesticity and rebellion, violence and devotion: heartrending vignettes of the aches and joys of growing up and testing the limits of nature and nurture. In language both probing and sensitive, Fruit delivers its own conflicted and celebratory answers to pressing questions of life, death, love, and biology.
About the Author
Bruce Snider is an associate professor at the University of San Francisco. He is the author of Paradise, Indiana, winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Prize, and The Year We Studied Women, winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry.
Read an Excerpt
What in me, I wonder, is me as the world goes on copying itself black seeds sprouting green, egg sacks on the gray spider. excerpt from “One Day, He Said, I’d Carry on the Family Name”
Table of Contents
Contents The Blue Whale Has the Largest Heart of Any Living Creature 3I. Homo 7 Litany for My Father’s Sperm 8 Childless 10 Fruit 11 Creation Myth 13 My Uncle’s Barn Cat as the Shadow of Death 14 Childless 15 On Swallowing the Fourth Plague of Egypt 16 Because Eden, from the Hebrew, Meant Pleasure 17 Childless 19 Ellipsis, Dash, Bullet Point 20 Cleaning My Father’s Rifle 22 They Will Not Eat the Bird of Paradise 25 Why My Father Smells Like the Night 27 Childless 28 After Reading the Wikipedia Entry on Homosexual Behavior in Moths 29 Inside the Creation Museum 30 The Average Human 32 Childless 34 Chemistry 35 On Billy Lucas, Who Hanged Himself in His Grandmother’s Barn 37II. Devotions 41III. Twin Peaks Bar, San Francisco 47 Childless 49 Toy Box 50 Shelter 51 Elegy for the Girl I Was 55 Childless 56 Litany for My Father’s Guns 57 Still Life with Cows 59 It’s the Dog 61 Childless 63 At the Sperm Bank 64 Prayer for the Bear My Father Shot 65 Elegy for the Bully 66 Heaven and Earth 67 Mendel on His Death Bed 70 Childless 72 Creation Myth 73 Territory 74 One Day, He Said, I’d Carry on the Family Name 76 Frutti di Mare 77 Acknowledgments 81