Hawks on Wires: Poems, 2005-2010 by Dave Smith

By Dave Smith

Dave Smith's 16th poetry assortment chronicles the arc of virtually sixty years dwelling within the American South. From dusty sawmills to the ever-present Waffle apartment, Hawks on Wires phases either mortal and comedian dramas that talk to the poet's autumnal attractiveness of himself and the South.Poems of starting to be up engaged with the folk of the coast and woodlands--boatmen, hunters, crabbers, sawyers, and tough-mouthed waitresses--celebrate the as soon as robust yet now tenuous threads of community.Traveling in the course of the latter 20th century, Smith offers issues of relations, intercourse, and race in the course of a turbulent and historical period in southern background. Assassinations, withdrawal of spiritual prohibitions, violent cultural convulsions, or even the decreased that means of the notice ''southern'' shake the poet's own identity.Smith makes use of the language of a standard guy looking which means because the reminiscence of occasions, carried over a life-time, now begs for rationalization. regardless of the inevitable displacements and disappointments of id, which stay mysterious, Smith reveals optimism in lifestyles.

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37 My Father’s Tools T-squares, draftsman’s table-world, rotatable, kept draped in oil-cloth, secrets of pencils to be pointed like long guns, scrolled blue-prints I believed full of treasure, not keel, magazine, bulkhead, or deck where scattered the exploded carrier’s thousands of legs. * His dithering, redundant language was never answerable to me, numbers, that solve-for-X slide rule’s tongue slow as courage when I needed it, digits of obedience I couldn’t get right, like a man with an idea standing on a bridge rail, cold swoon of current his signal to come.

Who brought us that baby in the back seat? Nights skating until the Circle closed. How aimless all was, like sperm puffed up, beating a way home. 22 Allen Wheeler’s Love Tale The night he saw his old man on top, Allen Wheeler said, he nearly shit with fear, but not because of what he saw, which wasn’t much, it was he wasn’t supposed to be where he was, and he was, and he thought Hell, I’ll catch his worst strap sure, and to hear him tell it, now almost crying, he struck first, shouting. Dad up and grabbed his belt and wailed.

In the principal’s office, accused, I tried faint answers, getting stiff, wordless with my fear. We will see the offender tremble. Together we will hide in the fields of our imagination, holding still, like any creature denying himself, head down in long quiet confined, in halls and numbered rooms. Tense, not speaking, we listen. Here and there one rises up and goes. We count, jaws clenched, those with us. Sundays our childhood streets were the same. —we chose sides. It grew dark, we ate, we read from animal books, fell asleep loving the brave ones.

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