The Body Wars: Poems

The Body Wars: Poems

by Jan Beatty


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Friday, May 20


What would it take to be home in one’s body, to walk around the world as oneself, knowing the pain within and without us? Jan Beatty boldly answers that question by making a fire map of the body. These roiling poems smack into walls of meditation, only to slide down the smooth concrete into the flatline of joy. These are vital poems of dimension, of both psychic and literal travel, of the elasticity of truth and struggle, of the daily nature of desire that brings us to our knees—then shotguns us back to the heart’s center.
Yellow Sky                                                                                                                 

The summer that I had nowhere to live:
the sky was yellow everywhere.
The cars of other people had their own private shine.
I walked slowly.
Several birds re-visited the backyards of strangers,
I was free
singing the song of the last thing I didn’t say to you.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822966241
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 09/22/2020
Series: Pitt Poetry Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 76
Sales rank: 720,247
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Jan Beatty is professor of English and director of creative writing at Carlow University, director of the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops, and distinguished writer in residence of the Carlow University MFA program. Her fifth book, Jackknife: New and Selected Poems, won the 2018 Paterson Prize, and her memoir, American Bastard, won the 2019 Red Hen Nonfiction Award.

Table of Contents


The Body Wars 5


Stormday 9

Crushing It 11

Gunlover 12

Drunken Trees 14

On the Anniversary of Charlottesville 16

Double-Cut 17

At Carluccio's, County Dublin, Dawson Street IS Felon 20

Armament 22

The Pelicans 24

The Fire Roads 26


Coastal Starlite 31

How I Became a Gunslinger 33

Speedballing 35

Something Real and Free 37

Trumpcare 38

Chocolate Mescaline 39

Not Homeless, Just Moving 40

Borderlands, for Bobby 41

Yellow Sky 44

For the Man Who Died on the Tracks 45


Containment 49

Landing Strip-Sierra Nevada 50

Train-Jumper 52

Field 53

At Moe's 54

Outpost on Wicklow Street 55

Driver: Fulton Street to North Beach 57

In the Castro 58

Kat Calls about Jesus 59

She Was West 61


Beautiful, Overused in Muir Woods 67

It's Raining in Paterson 70

She only tried a little, unwound the coat hanger and put it inside her 71

My Father Disappears into Flowers 72

Hot in the Striped Boy's Heart 73

On the 101 74

Leaving Sioux City 77

Kat Talks the War Inside Her 79

The Saddest Song 80

In the Lowfields 81

West Texas Love Poem 84

Notes 85

Acknowledgments 87

Customer Reviews