Sunday, July 27, 2008

Poem of the week, and reading plans

Quick note: Finishing Line Press has extended my pre-order period by a few days. If you haven't yet ordered a copy of Breach and would like to do so, you can still get free shipping if you order before August 1st. (Get the details here!) Sales have been strong so far; my fear that nobody would buy the thing seems to have been completely unfounded! I'm really very pleased, and very grateful to those of you who have ordered it.

* * * * *

Finishing Line Press has been publishing excellent chapbooks left and right this year, and here comes another one: Bloomington resident (and librarian) Doris Lynch. I've admired Dory's poetry for a number of years, and I am delighted to announce that she and I will be doing a joint chapbook-release reading sometime in November -- watch this space for details! -- along with another terrific Bloomington poet, Shana Ritter.

Jenny Kander has this to say about Dory's chapbook, Praising Invisible Birds: "Writing with engaging clarity Doris Lynch is unafraid to experience, question, challenge. Her connectedness to the past and the now, her looking up and around sanctifies nature through recognition, singing for us our place within it. Surprising turns of phrase, word choices, present an untiring imagination, a discerning eye. Honouring events, yet claiming her own imaginative closure, Lynch has the power to open our eyes. Hers is a voice of wonder, celebration and, now and then, of anguish."

You can pre-order Praising Invisible Birds directly from Finishing Line Press for $14; orders placed before September 19 get free shipping & will be sent on the October 10 release date. (I'm going to go order mine right now!) I'll give you one poem to whet your appetite; you can read more on the poet's own website.

What the Dead Miss Most

What the dead miss most
is bird-song, that joy shaking down
from the trees, the way grass spreads
its green hair over the graves, and lightning
bugs rise in its shadowy furls switching
miniature yellow bulbs on and off
in the honeysuckle-scented air.

And the frogs, what other creature knows
so much about love madness? Hear them
thrumming so loudly in the bulrushes
next to the creek. Remember
how your flesh rose belly
to belly when greeting your love.

When a woman pauses to watch
a hummingbird drink from a flower,
the dead can only guess
what has caught her eye. For what
do the dead remember
but the world of the senses? The smell
of freshly mown grass, a mockingbird
mocking, crickets rustling their prayer
books, the fog horn
blasting its double note.

During moments such as these
the dead struggle to leash
in their bones, especially muzzling
that empty spot just above the jaw
where the mouth once lay, pink,
round, and perfect. How painful
to hold back those ah's which long
to escape each time a star
splinters its body across the sky.

-- Doris Lynch
from Praising Invisible Birds
(reproduced by permission of the poet)


KATE EVANS said...

Wowee, what a poem. It does what a poem should do--makes the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

Anne said...

Kate -- so glad you liked it! I'll post another of hers at some point. I can't wait to get her chapbook!