Natural Selections (Iowa Poetry Prize) by Joseph Campana

By Joseph Campana

Whether wandering the trails of the mind's eye, riding via moderately populated nation-state, or listening for the voices of animals, Joseph Campana’s poemsattend to the methods we're indelibly marked via habitat. Shot packed with unintentional attachments and reluctant transience, Natural Selectionsproduces from brilliant contradiction effective song.
In poems either lyric and expansive, Natural choices finds within the simplicity and strangeness of heart the United States a fancy metaphysics of position and an uncanny point of view such as the landscapes of provide wooden. Birds and beasts, widespread storms, kingdom roads, a fraught election, and a few of Ohio’s literary dad or mum angels (James Wright, Hart Crane, and Sherwood Anderson) hang-out the poems. no matter if enigmatically refracted or brutally direct, those poems attend to the way in which existence is fantastically, violently, and all of sudden marked via place.

With a boldness of imaginative and prescient that may crush a lesser expertise, Joseph Campana offers us a set guided by means of a targeted intelligence and but containing wonderment and awe at its middle. through turns ferocious and captivating, modern and mythic, grief-stricken and humorous, the poet’s voice is often unique, direct, and pitch-perfect. The poems during this e-book are a ask yourself.

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Sample text

To be hanging in a posture of determined rupture: the lesson in question was for the hands. They will not be beside themselves. Break now, hands. Break now or reach out and be broken. * Were you lying there, were it your breath escaping, visible, wouldn’t you want to be lifted into someone’s snaking arms? * Nothing left to be. The colors were all cold, even as spring limped back. There was such silence in the world and it would not let go. Why should you stay, why should you hold on unless you were waiting all this time to billow back to life?

Sun says open. Bird won’t do it. Chill wind combing, combing through the dead. Sun says linger. Bird isn’t listening. Wings beat harder, harder now to die. Sun sings providence. And the bird says fall. 42 Bat All flesh wants is a little food, a little sleep. It does not want to know what is before it or what it already knows as darkness. To live as flesh is to live on sound for it is, at last, all feeling. So everything ends, and it ends with a precipitous sweep of wings, a singular buffet of wind, and a tiny scream.

There’s no reason to touch it. * How the sky tracks you. How lines connect your stars. * There was a story of how you came back. Slowly, at first, stirring deep in the entrails of the thing and then the dead no longer dead, crawling forth from a slickened gray body first like a slug and then in flight with such vicious, such violent joy. You were always changing. You said nothing was ever so sweet. I could hear the riddle bristling like a miracle. 18 * To be the tree broken by its own heaviness.

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