Real water boiling on a toy stove. Anxious to start the double play too quickly, he closes the glove before the ball is in it. Full moon smeared behind the scrim of cloud. Lilies shutting at dusk. The dream gauged by depth and completeness. The Wawa brutalizes the ice cream. Roar of the crickets all through the night. Tee ball power drive. Humidity of a different planet. Theory of a turnpike. At the train station, the suburban poor become visible. Across the street, Cowboy's Tattoo Ranch. Raising the seven-foot bookcase high, angling it around the banister at the turn of the stairs.
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Hummingbird's egg, the appearance of a white jelly bean. Red-tail hawk turns, high over Perkiomen Creek. Finches at the thistle sock, doe at the edge of the highway. YTD revenue for embedded systems. Realtor puts a plastic flag on each lawn for Independence Day. Big rigs in a row at the service plaza. Old lamp on a modern table, flowers etched in a base of glass. Light switch missing its face plate, having to put towels down by the shower just to turn the water on.
One cannot give an example of hapax without canceling the effect. Thrashing as a surrogate for emotion. Roofed-in porch perfect for a barbecue in the rain groundhogs in the grass, alas. The discipline of bottom feeders. Identify three routes between points A and B; list advantages and disadvantages of each.
Young boy with a fever. Scrollin' back to my same old used-to-be. These are the sounds of science thunderstorms under glass, alas , an echo in the poem. Waves batter the sea wall, full moon punctuation. Sunlight flashes off the windshield of a car passing on the road through the trees, lone evidence of limit to this forest. They wait for cars to get caught by the red light in the left turn lane, then spread out with buckets and old rags washing their windows rapidly, knowing just how long they have to coax a tip from each involuntary customer.
Rapidly, the mountain of strips of bacon disappear from the plate in the center of the table. White bearded affable therapist next door was an RCP militant in the sixties. Static growl of a modem. Riding the train backwards. To which, for your entire library, now add the costs of hauling and shipping. Moon follows, long walk at dusk. I step into the humid air. What did you know and when did you know it? Moon yellow foretelling rain. First sun smeared across the morning sky. Chooses "Alfred" when he comes to the US to attend college, that the Anglos won't struggle with a Korean name.
Old Giants media guide, filled with bios of prospects who never made a dent. Smell of over-ripe bananas the minute you enter the room. Beyond the great mansion, five outdoor swimming pools overlooking tennis courts and soccer fields rimmed by running tracks.source site
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Each strip mall proposed as a theory of how to live. Small boys playing soccer with a volley ball. Vast lawn aglitter with lightning bugs. Our love of the word poop. In the glass, ice melts, leaving beads of water around its outer surface. A train in the forest how did it get there? Moth's imprint on the window screen. The air hot and thick as syrup, blue jays listless in the trees. First sun reflected off the top branches before you see the sun itself. Achilles tendon taut, almost brittle, each step as you rise the stairs.
A house of deep-colored walls, burgundy and pink, through which to reach the large yard. Turning the corner in the corridor we almost bump and step back, excuse ourselves and walk on, small dance of the break-up of intimate space. XXIX Lightning rolling, popping, snapping all across the sky the whole forest in silhouette, down to the most infinite twig , then rain, although not as much as I would have expected, after which the hot spell is broken, no electricity anywhere for miles, people emerging slowly form their houses once the sun rises, the beauty of a gray dawn.
Behind this bale of hay, the tiniest full grown horse in the world, so small that a cup of water and a handful of hay is a mighty big meal for Tiny Tim. Merry-go-round balanced precariously over the fairground mud. Tattoo on the back of her neck forms a pyramid of letters, all san serif and upper case, but she won't hold still so I can read them. First the lightning, then the rain. Last demo filing cabinet missing handles, one drawer locked with no key in sight.
I walk out of the building and my glasses steam instantly at the difference in heat and humidity. The cup is a funnel inverted over a base of blue clay, the handle added later, rather large, like an ear out of proportion to its head. Ice melts quickly, leaving only a smear of bubbles on the surface of its watery residue. I'm calling in my role as the difficult client.
In the bank, a bowl of lollipops by each teller's window there is only one teller. First silhouette of the trees, predawn sky to the east. Lettuce falls from the corned beef sandwich. The voice that was late within us. In such weather, one can watch bananas ripen in real time. Day lilies unfurl, the sky brightens before the sun arrives, almost pink through the tall poplars. Black dog wanders in the large yard in the far end of which a crow has just settled. In the forest, a small wood-frame house, burnt to the ground, no sign of people anywhere.
He opens the palm of his hand to reveal a lightning bug, which rises slowly in the night air before it shines. Fire truck rides for a buck, Ferris wheel lights the sky, giant mechanical swing in the form of an Egyptian boat. In the forest, voices, laughing. Just how leathery the flesh of my own neck has become. As that man strides purposefully towards him, I saw this fellow reach for something under his jacket tucked right into his pants at the small of his back and think gun.
My pager set to vibrate. Soft first light of sun. XXX The aggression of toddlers or of squirrels. Theory of naming evident when we call a black-capped chickadee a bird that more accurately appears to wear a white mask. I carry a sleeping boy up the stairs and to his bed. The word on the net is that you are in France. A large one-story pomo building on an even larger lot turns out to be a hair salon land use away from the city.
How each McDonalds is most apt to differ from one another lies in whatever special accommodation is made for the play of toddlers. Aware of the dewpoint nearing eighty degrees. Irked at Adam's meddling, Hayley set a wedding date with Abe, then later went to the beach with Mateo. After defending Kirk to Scott, Sam stunned Kirk by insisting that they start their honeymoon right away.
Meanwhile, Nikkie tried to get Amy to show interest in Nick, and then tried to get Nick to show interest in Susan.
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On the couch, starting to watch a video Gerard Depardieu as Cyrano leaps and rants about the stage , I virtually swoon into a deep sleep, to dream of a great wall of candy, sugar-coated drops of licorice, white, pink, black. Simple male transfer protocol. Three kinds of woodpeckers about these trees. Atmosphere is a broth.
Old town graveyard after dark, the grass too high, lit only by lights from the nearby church parking lot. A bowl of blueberry frozen yogurt.
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Large sore on the roof of my mouth. Hourglass frozen against the screen. First inverted whistle of a cardinal in the poplar. Differentiate in a boy's mind gravity from magnetism from simple suction. Small girl skating down the steepest of hills. An icon for poetry winged hearse. Woodpecker walks up the trunk of tree. Light mottled on the large leaf. XXXII To look up at the impossible brightness would be fatal, tall cloud full of human ash, the city itself missing, to be defined forever by this absence, instance.
Nineteen years later, a boy arrives at a demonstration. Don't Laos me up. Hilltop forest stripped, winding private road arrives at an 'S' shaped development of new construction three models: Adelaide, Bristol, Chaucer , through the mud into a shell of board and sheet rock, cedar shake shingles, 65 surface choices for cabinets I look up in the closet right through the attic to the sky. Red tail hawk threads the air. This is what makes a rabbit hop. I shut my eyes and the dream cartoon samurai continues. Tea too hot to sip. An elephant king and a mouse, both made of cloth, equal in size.
Poems , also from Pittsburgh, and The Gazer Within University of Michigan Press, , a collection of essays, appeared posthumously.
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At the time of his death in , Levis was professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. His awards include the U. In , he was a senior Fulbright fellow in Yugoslavia. Through teaching and creative writing workshops, he was a mentor to many, including Laura-Gray Street and Joshua Poteat. Through his writings he indirectly influenced many writers, along with Gregory Donovan and Elizabeth Morgan.
Woods, streams, and fields fascinate him--he happily admits his devotion to Thoreau--but so do people and their habits, dear friends and family, the odd poet, and strangers who become even stranger when looked at closely. In this new collection, Wagoner catches the mixed feelings of a long drive, the sensations of walking against a current, the difficulty of writing poetry with noisily amorous neighbors, and many more uniquely familiar experiences.
A marvelous synthesis of sincerity and craft is apparent on these pages.
In poem after poem, a disarming forthrightness is balanced by inventiveness and pure skill. The grace, clarity, and emotional depth of his work have been a constant model, and it is heartening to see that his most recent poems are his best. In them, he has the privilege of looking back with a rare wisdom, of looking down from the height of his rare gifts.
Related A Map of the Night: Poems (Illinois Poetry Series)
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