Tuesday, September 28, 2010



As we were putting the final touches on Assembling the Lord, I began to wonder about the bounds of my ambitions. Excavating old prose and hammering out new verses felt, well, inspiring: after years away, I was a poet again. And as 2008 wound down, I resolved that 2009 would be devoted to another book of poetry. It’s title would be Stay Local, and therein I’d explore themes related - loosely and directly - to sustainability and entropy in my off-kilter lyrical voice, that boom-lowering sense in recent years of all things social and economic and personal drawing back for the sake of survival. Farmer’s markets over grocery chains, local bands over national pop heroes, etc. This felt like a capital idea, and one of the first poems I wrote for this collection is actually titled “Stay Local.” Then the downturn hit, and life soured, and the focus shifted further afield to fear, to dread, to discontent - and Stay Local became Crucial Sprawl, at first after the closing line of “The New Austerity” and later after a poem titled “Crucial Sprawl.” So consider this book a catalogue of apprehensions - everything falling apart without the benefits (usually) of rhyme - but be prepared for moments of tenderness and humor and wit, paeans to loved ones, cynical chortles, splashes of gruesome color. It’s the diary of an interesting year, one in which it seemed that I was perpetually on the verge of losing everything.

Go here to read some excerpts and/or buy a copy, if you're into that kinda thing.

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