- Paperback: 70 pages
- Publisher: Black Lawrence Press (September 11, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0983794502
- ISBN-13: 978-0983794509
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.3 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,395,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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School of the Americas
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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About the Author
David Rigsbee is the author of nineteen books and has published critical works on Joseph Brodsky and Carolyn Kizer.
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Some examples explain these thoughts better:
I'm listening to the same birdsong over
and over. It's what the bird is putting
out there from inside the scalloped leaf
layers, then borne on the hot air
of a quiet afternoon. Something picks it up,
in spme other tree, not the same song, but
consistent with its hammering repetition, only
elsewhere. That's the thing, isn't it?
Elsewhere. When Blake explained that Christ
was Imagination, what else did he
have in mind, but that the Son of Man
was elsewhere, working on a new gesture,
perhaps a sign as yet unknown to commentators,
which looked at first like legerdemain,
slipping through a hole only he could see,
to turn around in the air there, the highway
of birds, bearing witness, like any savior,
to its endless loops and curves.
It wasn't the end when
my girlfriend handed me the phone
in the middle of the night and said,
"Here. Say hello to my husband,"
And it wasn't the end of anything
when another grabbed the wheel at 70
and screamed, "I could pull this
right off the road right now!
I could do it right now!"
Those frenzies have passed
into something like memory
of a good novel, weighted in one's lap
when the day is cleared,
and there's nothing left to do
but look in on the Russians
passing out at the feet of their superiors,
emptying their wallets into the fireplace,
throwing their brain-stuffed heads
before the locomotive of History,
rather than face the vivid memory
of errors committed when the face
was hot and stared into the eyes
of that intransigent, that other face.
But these are shorter, more terse poems, easy to relay to the reader, comfortable to share in a review situation. For this reader Rigsbee's longer poems resonate, like the following one, broken into paragraph for in lieu of space:
So he's standing there on the porch/ telling me how the Tea Party/ is the true America, and I'm wondering/ who's the bigger ass, him spouting/ or me listening, when my stare/ falls on his two brats running/ in and out of the screen door,/ two boys who will likely/ grow up to extend their dad's simple mind./ But then I wonder what/ would happen if his side won./ How bad could it be not to be/ on the side of the bigger truths,/ not even on the side of facts, which/ would seem some kind of default/ but is not, apparently? It would be/ to believe the truth is bound as a child/ is tied to its mother while the stars/ spin crazily in their silent voids,/ invulnerable, waiting to die, as we/ are, but unlike us, unencumbered/ with the memory of their rise/ and fall. Now he's railing against/ the gay agenda and refuses to use/ any term but "sodomite," which gives him/ he thinks, a kind of patristic armor./ But after all, he is family,/ and I let him go on, without further/ correction, as the kids breach the door/ once more, and I can see/ how they could kill me, a grown-up/ who bandies language. Theirs/ are the small eyes that peered/ from the dark of caves that belonged,/ as they feared, to merciless animals/ we know now only from renderings,/ and then only sideways, never head-on,/ as if the observers devoutly wished,/ after recording them, they would pass.
Wisdom, humor, passion, skill and craftsmanship abound in these poems covering so many thoughts and topics. It is rare to pass through more than two or three pages without being punched in the gut or hugged by some greater, more understanding arm. Grady Harp, February 13