Sunday, May 17, 2015


I had the great satisfaction of reading with poet Thomas Devaney not long ago, the first time I'd experienced his poetry as read by him, and it was a delight. At the reading I bought his new book, Runaway Goat Cart, just out from Hanging Loose Press (the publisher of my latest as well, the publication party for both—and others in this year's class—is on May 29th, 6-8PM at Poets House in Manhattan, all welcome) and had one of the most satisfying poetry-book-reading experiences of a lifetime of them.

I love this book, I love Devaney's approach to his poetry, I love the language and imagery and non-linear yet somehow always narratively driven articulation of the human condition and experience I find in these poems. Many that I loved most are too long to quote in full here but here's one of the shorter ones I love:


The stories about God lay out the situation as well as anything.
We are made in God's image and it shows.
Lightning is not a sign of God's wrath. This is true
and good to know, but at its crackling heart
lightning is an expression of God's speed.
Godspeed is the only prayer I know that makes sense.
So I offer it now—now go. Godspeed, I pray.

I don't know the summer. I only know the heat in this room,
even with these fans; or the story of the man who sat down
in the middle of the sidewalk and never got back up.
I am not that man, though I am partly immobile.
The ice cream store is closed. There is no more sunscreen.
I sit and write to you. I do not have time to write you
a short letter, so I write you a long one.
Everything God has done he has done quickly.
Oceans were an idea, but the planet itself was not.
God's miracles are as much as of surprise to the revolving-
        gendered-door of Her as they are to us.

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