Run the Red Lights

Run the Red Lights

by Ed Skoog


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"Skoog [is] fashioning a poetry that fluctuates and ripples as incessantly as open water." — Boston Review

"Ed Skoog is a master of mischief and misdirection." — Prairie Schooner

"Ed Skoog's poetry is so ambitious it takes my breath away." — The Stranger

"Run the red lights" were the last words the musician Alex Chilton spoke to his wife on the way to the hospital. In Ed Skoog's new book the poems are running all the lights, the way that talking casually runs and flows over itself and intertwines with what others are saying. These plainspoken poems rediscover the relationship between talking and thinking, as they weave among enthusiastic jags about sex and love, theater, music, New Orleans, numbness, ghosts, wolves, history, violence, rescue, art, marriage, mothers, fathers, and children.

After Katrina, I took the diet where you eat meat,
and lost almost a hundred pounds from a surfeit
of bacon, sautéed pork medallions, beef & lamb.
The weight fell away like a knight's armor
after a joust. I bought shirts at a regular store.
I played softball and ran bases, bounded them,
as if on a new, more forgiving planet. And
I went crazy, evened out, broke down again . . .

Ed Skoog was born in Topeka, Kansas, and earned his MFA at the University of Montana. His poetry has appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, The Paris Review and Ploughshares , and earned the Poetry Society of America's Lyric Poetry Award and the Washington State Book Award. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781556595035
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Publication date: 11/08/2016
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 835,479
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Ed Skoog: Ed Skoog was born in Topeka, Kansas, and earned his MFA at the University of Montana. His first three books, Mister Skylight (2009), Rough Day (2013), and Run the Red Lights (2016) are all published by Copper Canyon Press. His poetry has appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, The Paris Review and Ploughshares, among other publications, and earned the Poetry Society of America’s Lyric Poetry Award, the Washington State Book Award, the Faulkner’s Marble Faun Prize in Poetry, a fellowship with Bread Loaf, and residencies with George Washington University and the Richard Hugo House. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Table of Contents

Gwendolyn Brooks Park, Topeka 3

Part 1

Being in Plays 7

The Children's Theater 8

Grateful Dead Tapes 11

Ode to the Macarena 13

The Empty House 15

Driving 17

When I Was Living in New York City 18

Playing Banjo 20

Karaoke 21

The Immortals 22

Run the Red Lights 23

Part 2

Hurry 29

Waves 30

Showering at Night 31

Paintings and Drawings 34

Cafe Racer 37

The Shadow of Eros Covers the Scene of Loss 39

My Bodyguard 40

Red Desert (Antonioni, 1964) 41

The Second Spider 42

Looking for Work 44

Fladry 45

Part 3

When 49

Sparrow 50

Unknow the Dying Sea 51

Rail Station under Construction 52

Listening to Radio at Work 54

Downstream 55

Free Climb 58

Black Rolling Bag 61

Hamlet and Gretel 63

About the Author 73

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Run the Red Lights 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
DanielleCC More than 1 year ago
Run The Red Lights is a book with its own 3-dimensional persona; a Sam Spade-like noir detective sitting across the table from you, regaling you with the mystique of Topeka, Kansas, adventurous liaisons and sultry theater experiences. Read my full review at