With these dark, triumphant poems Diane Seuss-Brakeman takes us on a journey through the landscape of the soul -- and it is a world full of beauty and violence in equal parts. Relentless and incantatory, these poems confront whatever it is that guides us in a life that is sensuous, yet exacting in its terrible cost. As the poet looks for God's presence in the book's erotically charged universe, the quest itself becomes a victory of perfectly pitched and furious language. It Blows You Hollow is a book that feels as if it had to be written.
it blows you hollow
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Winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry. Seuss's poems grow out of the fertile soil of southwest Michigan, bursting any and all stereotypes of the Midwest and turning loose characters worthy of Faulkner in their obsession, their suffering, their dramas of love and sex and death.
A latest annual anthology complements top-selected American poems of the year with poet notes about their creative processes.
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Diane Seuss’s brilliant follow-up to Four-Legged Girl, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry Still life with stack of bills phone cord cig butt and freezer-burned Dreamsicle Still life with Easter Bunny twenty caged minks and rusty meat grinder Still life with whiskey wooden leg two potpies and a dead parakeet Still life with pork rinds pickled peppers and the Book of Revelation Still life with feeding tube oxygen half-eaten raspberry Zinger Still life with convenience store pecking order shotgun blast to the face —from “American Still Lives” Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl takes its title from Rembrandt’s painting, a dark emblem of femininity, violence, and the viewer’s own troubled gaze. In Diane Seuss’s new collection, the notion of the still life is shattered and Rembrandt’s painting is presented across the book in pieces—details that hide more than they reveal until they’re assembled into a whole. With invention and irreverence, these poems escape gilded frames and overturn traditional representations of gender, class, and luxury. Instead, Seuss invites in the alienated, the washed-up, the ugly, and the freakish—the overlooked many of us who might more often stand in a Walmart parking lot than before the canvases of Pollock, O’Keeffe, and Rothko. Rendered with precision and profound empathy, this extraordinary gallery of lives in shards shows us that “our memories are local, acute, and unrelenting.”
"Diane Seuss writes with the intensity of a soothsayer." —Laura Kasischke For, having imagined your body one way I found it to be another way, it was yielding, but only as the Destroying Angel mushroom yields, its softness allied with its poison, and your legs were not petals or tendrils as I'd believed, but brazen, the deviant tentacles beneath the underskirt of a secret queen —from "Oh four-legged girl, it's either you or the ossuary" In Diane Seuss's Four-Legged Girl, her audacious, hothouse language swerves into pain and rapture, as she recounts a life lived at the edges of containment. Ghostly, sexy, and plaintive, these poems skip to the tune of a jump rope, fill a wishing well with desire and other trinkets, and they remember past lush lives in New York City, in rural Michigan, and in love. In the final poem, she sings of the four-legged girl, the body made strange to itself and to others. This collection establishes Seuss's poetic voice, as rich and emotional as any in contemporary poetry.
A top crime journalist reveals precisely how the world-shattering murder of John Lennon happened—and why In Let Me Take You Down, Jack Jones penetrates the borderline world of dangerous fantasy in which Mark David Chapman stalked and killed Lennon: Mark David Chapman rose early on the morning of December 8 to make final preparations. . . . Chapman had neatly arranged and left behind a curious assortment of personal items on top of the hotel dresser. In an orderly semicircle, he had laid out his passport, an eight-track tape of the music of Todd Rundgren, his little Bible, open to The Gospel According to John (Lennon). He left a letter from a former YMCA supervisor at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, where five years earlier, he had worked with refugees from the Vietnam War. Beside the letter were two photographs of himself surrounded by laughing Vietnamese children. At the center of the arrangement of personal effects, he had placed the small Wizard of Oz poster of Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion. “I woke up knowing, somehow, that when I left that room, that was the last time I would see the room again,” Chapman recalled. “I truly felt it in my bones. I don’t know how. I had never seen John Lennon up to that point. I only knew that he was in the Dakota. But I somehow knew that it was it, this was the day. So I laid out on the dresser at the hotel room . . . just a tableau of everything that was important in my life. So it would say, ‘Look, this is me. Probably, this is the real me. This is my past and I’m going, gone to another place.’ “I practiced what it was going to look like when police officers came into the room. It was like I was going through a door and I knew I was going to go through a door, the poet’s door, William Blake’s door, Jim Morrison’s door. . . . I was leaving what I was, going into a future of uncertainty.” Praise for Let Me Take You Down “Jack Jones has written a beautiful book, rare in its attention to the social context giving rise to stalkers and assassins of celebrities . . . celebrity worship is ambivalent—admiration shares the altar with envy. When the worshipped disappoints, a ‘nobody’ can become a ‘somebody’ by killing the pop culture idol. Let Me Take You Down is both fascinating and brilliant.”—Ladd Wheeler, Professor of Psychology, University of Rochester, Former President of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology
#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts continues the thrilling trilogy of a town plagued by evil—and the three men and three women brought together by fate to fight it. For Fox, Caleb, Gage and the other residents of Hawkins Hollow, the number seven portends doom—ever since, as boys, they freed a demon trapped for centuries when their blood spilled upon The Pagan Stone… Now, as the dreaded seventh month looms before them, the men can feel the storm brewing. Already they are plagued by visions of death and destruction. But this year, they are better prepared, joined in their battle by three women who have come to The Hollow. Layla, Quinn, and Cybil are somehow connected to the demon, just as the men are connected to the force that trapped it. Since that day at The Pagan Stone, town lawyer Fox has been able to see into others’ minds, a talent he shares with Layla. He must earn her trust, because their link will help fight the darkness that threatens to engulf the town. But Layla is having trouble coming to terms with her newfound ability—and this intimate connection to Fox. She knows that once she opens her mind, she’ll have no defenses against the desire that threatens to consume them both… Don't miss the other books in the Sign of Seven Trilogy Blood Brothers The Pagan Stone