Seven Notebooks: Poems

By Campbell McGrath

An ant to the stars
or stars to the ant--which is
extra irrelevant?

Weekend Jet Skiers--
impolite to name them idiots,
definite, yet proof are facts.

Clamor of seabirds
because the solar falls--I glance up
and ten years have passed."
--from "Dawn Notebook"

Such is the expansive terrain of 7 Notebooks: the area because it is obvious, identified, imagined, and dreamed; our lives as they're felt, concept, wanted, and lived. Written in types that diversity from haiku to prose, and in a voice that veers from incanta­tory to deadpan, those seven poetic sequences provide various reflections on language and poetry, time and realization, civilization and art--to say not anything of bureaucrats, surfboards, and blue margaritas. Taken jointly, Seven Notebooks composes a season-by-season account of a yr within the lifetime of its narrator, from spring in Chicago to summer time on the Jersey Shore to iciness in Miami seashore. no longer a unique in verse, now not a poetic magazine, yet a lyric chronicle, this completely particular ebook reclaims territory lengthy deserted via American poetry, a attribute ambition of Campbell McGrath, probably the most venerated, obtainable, and humanistically engaged writers of our time.

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Whisper of floor mist. locate contentment the place you could. Whisper of floor mist. AUGUST August. Golden haze. Nights the flesh reawakens to its egocentric dream. August. Pewter fog because the typhoon telephone hits: hailstones hiss in boiling surf. August. Black scallops and clamshells in a purple pail: amassed, forgotten. AUGUST five Cloudy, the foghorn, clacking buoys within the mist. individuals are slumbering, song is enjoying dimly via headphones unattended at the table whereas birds threat brief cursive flights up from the protection of the seashore plum thicket. Six inches of tannic water within the deep-grooved tractor marks, rutted paths throughout sand dunes clothed in morning glory, grass and rushes the colour of tarnished brass, like a depression Van Gogh, the overdue northern work of wheat fields. los angeles tristesse durera toujours, he's mentioned to have acknowledged on his deathbed. surely actual. yet happiness can also final. flip over the rocks, search it, second to second, day to cloudiest day, a hoop of tombstones, flagpoles within the snow—. Is it worthy it? Does the potential pleasure outweigh the inevitable sorrow? what's the aspect of the query? studying to acknowledge styles: wakefulness, the foghorn, a booklet of Van Gogh sketches in shroud-light. The half-repainted fridge stands in the course of the ground on newspapers, toll of solitary bells within the mist, eco-friendly and pink lighting fixtures of the channel markers, incoming fishing boats, dragonflies above the salt marsh, shimmering. PHILADELPHIA overdue dinner at a depressing café blocks from Rittenhouse sq., iron pots of mussels and Belgian beer and a waiter desirous to snag the money and clock out. Such are the summer season pleasures of his work—winding right down to a pitcher of pink wine, catching the windowed mirrored image of a lady as she passes, counting the take upon the bar, thick roll of ones and fives, palming the strange ten soft opposed to zinc and polished walnut, the comforting dinginess of yank cash, colour of August weeds in a backyard of rusting home equipment, not easy money, its halo of authority, the fingers’ savor its fricatives and gutturals, its growl, its purr, gruff demotic opposed to the jargon of paychecks on computerized deposit with Social safety deductions and pay as you go dental, realism vs. abstraction, a gallery of modest canvases, extra landscapes than nonetheless lifes, steeples of the outdated urban with masts and spars, a vista of water meadows with fishermen hauling nets within the distance, ladies accumulating shellfish in wicker panniers. It yields adequate to maintain us, in any case, the sea of the earlier. We’ve paid. The waiter wallet his ultimate tip and throws down his apron and walks out into the nice and cozy evening of canines splashing in public fountains and on benches underneath blossoming timber and shortly adequate we keep on with, arm in arm around the cobblestones, searching for a yellow cab to hold us into the longer term. AUGUST eight somebody is creating a procuring record on the counter by means of the window. an individual is peeling cucumbers, consuming a blue margarita. somebody rubs a thumb around the tip of a brand new teeth. somebody is skidding their motorbike within the stones on the harbor underneath the indicators for the get together fishing boats: ALL-DAY FLUKE, HALF-DAY BLUES.

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