In It was a terrible cloud at twilight, Alessandra Lynch reflects on personal, social, moral, and historical terror. These ambitious, imagistic poems move through subjects of violence and loss that are both deeply personal and elegantly public. The elegiac poems in the final section are dedicated to the poet's friend, author Lucy Grealy, whose plight might also be said to embody terror. Lynch's poems are tactile and visual, coining wordsand phrases in surprising ways. They engage in intimate conversations that are both dark and whimsical. Selected by James Richardson from a field of more than six hundred manuscripts as the winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Prize, this is Alessandra Lynch's second collection.
Piece by Piece He Went for Bill
First, his blue toe.Then, his calf up to the hipbone.He thinned to a frame.
Fireflies faltered, lit intohis bony lattice, the fretted ribs, matingbetween collarbone and pelvis
till the whole leg fell off and insidehe was all air and brightness and treefrogs --
(bluethroated crickets struggled through his beard,a meadow rose from the cave of his stomach)
-- we tried to catch their tender bodies,their thrumming heartsthat longed to be let back
into the wild yellow grass -- no matter howrotten with dew, no matter howdarkened by rain, no matter.