The Law of Falling Bodies: Poems

The Law of Falling Bodies: Poems

by Elton Glaser

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Overview

The Law of Falling Bodies: Poems by Elton Glaser

The hard center of The Law of Falling Bodies bears down on the twin enmities of pain and loss. But the book ranges over a broad field, with poems covering everything from the inundations of summer rain ("It's like living in the spit valve of a big trombone") to a lovesick drunk listening to Patsy Cline ("My drink's on the rocks, and I am, too.") Glaser begins with the quirks and revelations of nature, shifts to those difficult adjustments we make as the body breaks down, modulates to a series of scenes imbued with music, and ends on an elegiac note in memory of his late wife ("Grief follows me like a dog behind the butcher's truck"). Along the way, the poems touch on a restless scale of tones, as light as the indignant comedy of "It Ain't the Heat, It's the Stupidity" and as heartbreakingly dark as "Autopsy." At the core is the constant interplay of an agile mind and rich language—what Ezra Pound called "the dance of the intellect among words"—always feeling out what it is to be human. The Law of Falling Bodies is part of the University of Arkansas Press Poetry series, edited by Enid Shomer.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781557289964
Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
Publication date: 02/01/2013
Pages: 108
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Elton Glaser was Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Akron for many years. He is the author of Translations from the Flesh, Here and Hereafter, and six other books of poetry.

Table of Contents

I

Where the Mississippi Begins 3

Squall Lines 4

Sunbreak in the Poconos 6

During the Deluge 8

After the Storm, the Birds Begin to Sing 9

It Ain't the Heat, It's the Stupidity 10

In the Season of Early Dark 11

Little Ice Age 13

After the Harvest, before the Snow 14

Liebestod 17

MapQuest to Anyplace Else 18

Gifts out of Dirty Weather 19

Incantations of April 20

Withdrawal Symptoms 21

Downwind from the Uplift 22

Drinking Alone on a Spring Day 23

May Rain 25

Turn and Return 27

II

Under the Knife 31

Cuttings from Recovery 32

Song with One Lung 35

Second Slice 37

Exit Strategy 39

Residues 41

Ceremony 43

Not There 44

Lumbar Complaints 46

Over and Out 47

Indelible Ink 48

Closing In 50

Sixty without a Crutch 51

III.

The Blind One 55

Slow Music with Diminished Chords 56

At the Casino with Justice 57

Girl down on the Farm 60

Boy in the Lull of Midsummer 62

Patsy Cline on the Jukebox, Seven and Seven on the Bar 64

Do the Do 65

Opaque Confessions from the Other Life 67

Swamped 68

Thanksgiving in New Orleans, 2005 69

Outlaw Blues 71

Church of the Downtown Redeemer and Twiceborn Saints 73

Bottoming Out 74

IV

For Helen, in Her Absence 77

Less than Greek 78

Autopsy 79

Gin and Music 80

To My God, in His Absence 81

Trashing the Shadows 82

Book of the Broken Spine 83

When You Hear the Tone 85

Empty Ever After 86

Missing the Missing 87

Dernier Cri 89

To the Nth 90

Experimental Requiem 91

All Too Human 92

Late Night with No Wine 94

Simple Gifts 95

The Law of Falling Bodies 96

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