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So door to door among the shotgun
shacks in Cullowhee and Waynesville in
our cleanest shirts and ma’am
and excuse me were all but second
nature now and this one woman comes
to the door she must have weighed
three hundred pounds Would you be
willing to tell us who you plan to vote
for we say and she turns around with
Everett who’re we voting for? The
black guy says Everett. The black guy
she says except that wasn’t the language
they used they used the word
we’ve all agreed to banish from even our
innermost thoughts, which is when
I knew he was going to win.
At which point the speaker discovers,
as if the lesson were new,
she has told the story at her own expense.
Amazing, said my sister’s chairman’s
second wife, to think what you’ve
amounted to considering where you’re from,
which she imagined was a compliment.
One country, friends. Where when
we have to go there, as, depend
upon it, fat or thin, regenerate
or blinkered-to-the-end, we shall,
they have to take us in. I saw
a riverful of geese as I drove home across
our one-lane bridge. Four hundred of them
easily, close-massed against the current and
the bitter wind (some settled on the ice) and just
the few at a time who’d loosen rank to
gather again downstream. As if
to paraphrase. The fabric
every minute bound
by just that pulling-out that holds
the raveling together. You were driving
all this time? said Steven. Counting
geese? (The snow falling into the river.)
No. (The river about
to give itself over to ice.) I’d stopped.
Their wingspans, had they not
been taking shelter here, as wide as we are tall.
The fine fourth finger
of his fine right hand,
just slightly, when
he’s tracking our path
on his iPhone or
repairing the clasp
on my watch I
will not think about
the myelin sheath.
Slight tremor only,
the flaw in the
have been my
Smothered up in gauze, the sky’s
been healing for a week or
two, conserving its basin of gruel.
The shops have closed
in sympathy. The ferry’s ministrations
barely mark the hour. And just
when we’d convinced ourselves that
beauty unsubdued betrays
a coarsened mind, the fabric starts
to loosen, lift, and daylight
all unblighted takes a gaudy good-
night bow. What sodden
indistinction just an hour ago had all
but persuaded us not to
regret resumes its first divisions:
slate from cinder, ash
from smoke, warm dapple-gray from
moleskin, dove- from
Quaker-gray from taupe, until
the blackwater satins unroll their
gorgeous lengths above a sharpening
partition of lake-and-loam.
Give up yet? says the cirro-strato-sable
brush. Then watch
what I can do with orange. And,
flood-lit, ink-besotted, so
assails the upper atmosphere that
all our better judgment
fails. The Alps? They’ve seen it all
before. They’ve flattened
into waiting mode. The people?
Flat bedazzled. But
in fairness had a shorter way to fall.
The fabric every minute bound by just that pulling-out that holds the raveling together.
When I'm allowed to run the world you'll have to get a license just to take the course on parenting and everyone will fail it and good riddance we'll die out.
This passage is entirely representative of Gregerson's style: extremely long sentences fractionated by very short lines.
I am a bit disappointed with the poems. Not accessible enough.Published 7 months ago by Carine Topal
Linda Gregerson is an ambitious poet who combines poetic sensibility and a whole lot of knowledge. Her poems cover plenty of high-culture subjects. Read morePublished on December 26, 2012 by Jessica Weissman
William Carlos Williams famously said that it is hard to get the news from poetry, and we understand why. Read morePublished on October 25, 2012 by Thomas F. Dillingham
The Selvage is a fine little collection of poems by award-winning poet Linda Gregerson. There are places where she soars, and her words sing. Read more
I was not familiar with Linda GregersonMagnetic NorthWaterborne: Poems prior to receiving this book from the Amazon Vine Program. Read morePublished on October 19, 2012 by Patricia R. Andersen
"the words on paper make
a sort of currency, which heaven,
against all odds, accepts. Read more
If you read this book then you play with speech
From today through yesterday you translate
As if there were no thought to our limit or reach
Each poem makes no... Read more
I did not know the definition of the word selvage until I read this book. It is defined as a edge of a woven piece of fabric. Linda Gregerson expands my vocabulary with this poem. Read morePublished on September 22, 2012 by Robert G Yokoyama
Linda Gregerson's very long poems, with their loping lines and exploratory tone, channel the likes of Walt Whitman and Ciaran Carson, without merely imitating those who have gone... Read morePublished on September 3, 2012 by Kevin L. Nenstiel