Monday 26 October 2015

Forrest Gander's Eye Against Eye (New Directions, 2005)

Here are some of my favourite passages from this collection by Forrest Gander. I've been catching up with his work in preparation for his reading at Burdall's Yard in Bath on Thursday, 26 November, about which there are more details here.

At sunset the surface of the wall gleams gold gleaming

and seems from even a short distance a smooth

impenetrable force swelling forward to meet the light


                 The fragility of presence. A bird

perched at the tip of a branch. Singing, we say.

from "Burning Towers, Standing Wall"

Half-lidded days of early winter.


He sees the woman's face contract at the approach of other futures than the one for which her face was prepared.


As if they were waiting. As if inside experience, bright with meaning, there were another experience pendant, unnameable.

from "Ligature"

a sobering enthusiasm for the unmoored


you dance with your hips and feet while I'm all torso

there's a cure for that


veracity confronts us

ravens warning awe awe


should you crack and spill the yolk of yourself
you will find in me a stay

from "Present Tense"

In the riffle of leafy detail, we sense the respiration of the forest.

from "River and Trees"

Meanwhile, saturated by the density

of light, the tower and trees blend

into a compassion

                               where all the sight lines meet.  

end of "The Broken Tower"

and do we invent this privacy

the privilege to brim with each other


divorcing you from me

from the rhythm of our tangency

our breaking into my and my


from an infinite distance
I recall you

your presence

blows in, a red petal....


you can't tell

what is happening

until it moves on and is gone

as someone and someone's grief

careen around a corner

from "Mission Thief"
(my favourite poem in the collection, highly rcommended)

His muteness an onomatopoeia of the rising moon.

end of "Ligature 4"

You can best find and purchase Eye Against Eye in the UK from Abe Books.

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