Charles Harper Webb is celebrated for his use of humor; yet even his funniest poems rise, as the best comedy must, out of deep human drives, sorrows, and needs. Powerful immersions in what it means to be human, these poems explore the spectrum of emotions from love to hate, tenderness to brutality. They can be withering and vulnerable in the same breath. Models of clarity and vividness, they are mysterious when they need to be, ranging from lyric to narrative, from realism to wild surreal flights, powered by a fierce, compassionate intelligence. Metaphors of startling aptness and originality, a voice at once endearing and provocative, high musicality, propulsive energy, wild imaginative leaps, as well as mastery of diction from lyricism to street-speak, create a reading experience of the first order. Uniformly fun to read, these poems go down easy, but pack a wallop. As Robert Frost said poetry should do, What Things Are Made Of "begins in delight and ends in wisdom."
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Table of ContentsPart I Nostalgia’s Not What It Used To Be Where Are You Now, Sally Woodman, Vitus & Me Dark Penguin Mummies To Burn News of Him Jackass: The Viewer Everybody Tries So Hard Trouble with The Law Where Does Joy Come In? Never Too Late The Deed Worry Won’t Help Without a Paddle Karen, Lost At Lamaze Part II Morning Dance The Sound That Wakes Me at Night, Thinking of It Sand Fish Duck Tape I Might as Well Have Begged a Cyclone Not to Spin What Kitty Knows The Last Bobcat Don’ Like Summer of Love Nerves of Titanium Liar’s Ball Nuh-Nuh-Nuh-Nuh-Nuh-Nuh-Nuh-Nuh-Nuh, Dah Dah Dah! Doesn’t Look Like Much in Print Sad for the Hunchback One Week Until Opening Day “Man Stuck in Spiderweb,” Part III Manpanzee, It Had to Do with Candy Sanders: We Could’ve Been Commandos, Lingerie Show The Best Moment of My Life Word of Mouth Marco Polo Bimbo Limbo Catfish Day Before Memorial Day Brain Silos On Castle Creek Handling a Trophy Trout Dismantled for Goodwill, Our Son’s Crib Corn Places I Spent One Night Bed & Breakfast What Things Are Made Of Acknowledgments