Red to the Rind

Red to the Rind

by Stan Rice


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Red to the Rind by Stan Rice

“Behold the door / the lock’s alive,” warns Stan Rice in one of the commanding poems that make up this new volume of verse. From the streets of New Orleans during Mardi Gras to the private chambers of the imagination, Rice’s work is at times sharp and minimalist and at times over the top in its vivid critique of life and in its regard for the sanctity that lurks in all experience. In these concise, memorable verses, he contemplates the stroller-pushing crowd in the American mall; he maps the complex traffic of a marriage; he speaks to the cat bristling in the closet: “—for you, / For your on-tiptoe hissing / Slit-pupiled arched-backed tail- / Stiffened terror, this song.” Throughout, Rice sings of the darkness that conflicts us and of the moments of pure consciousness that allow us to transcend darkness.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375709791
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/07/2005
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 112
Product dimensions: 9.15(w) x 6.25(h) x 0.36(d)

About the Author

Stan Rice is the author of six collections of poetry, including The Radiance of Pigs, Fear Itself, and Singing Yet. He has been the recipient of the Edgar Allan Poe Award of the Academy of American Poets, the Joseph Henry Jackson Award, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Formerly a professor of English and Creative Writing and Chairman of the Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State University, he now lives in New Orleans with his wife, the novelist Anne Rice.

From the Hardcover edition.

Read an Excerpt

Nearly Dissolving

I was sitting on my porch
In yellow shorts
When I felt the universe
Brush up against me;
The sun, the stars, the galaxies;
The breeze on my ear, the insects;
The whole of it; and it scared me;
And I paused; making sure I didnt fall in
And go crazy; feeling it, not becoming it;
Until it passed; and I was Me


People wake up in the middle of the night.
No, not in the middle. Deep in their brains.
They know the present, the little braveries.
We lock our doors from the inside.
We want to be delivered.
We want the patience of mirrors.
We want not to be torn in two by a brown river.
We want the courage to dive
Off the high board into human eyes.
Behold the door.
The lock’s alive.

The Strangeness

The strangeness of others–
Even your sisters and brothers–
Is a responsibility to
Overcome–or some night they will be lying
In a bed dying–and how you loved them,
Its quality–will be as unknown
To you as your own mother was
While a living stranger.

From the Hardcover edition.

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