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The One-Strand River

by Richard Kenney

Hardcover, 177 pages, Random House Inc, List Price: $26.95 |


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Richard Kenney

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Book Summary

The poet-author of The Evolution of the Flightless Bird offers a diverse new compilation of poetry that describes the confusion of politics, love, the news of the day, the wonders and possibilities of language, happiness, family, and more.

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A Spring Bouquet of Poetry

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Note: Book excerpts are provided by the publisher and may contain language some find offensive.

Excerpt: The One-Strand River


The scent of soap
As she went by
Lent me hope;
I can’t say why.

And the little laugh
In the young man’s eye
Was fully half
Of the blue of the sky.

Are these things things,
Or nothing at all?
What’s a thing?
What it recalls?

• • •


Now night’s abandoned diamond mine’s
Been dynamited open, love.
Crickets creak like weakened timbers.
Waken now in a vein of love.

Love, the slick on the eastern sea’s
Meniscus now is red again,
Is upward sun’s unbreaking egg
Bled together and round again.–

Again the mountain-crumpled moon’s
Losing pressure in the black tree,
And now it’s just invisible,
And now is breeze in the black tree–

A button at your open throat–
A button at your loosened sleeve–
A kiss crushed and all red
And roar of the sun in a slipped sleeve.

• • •


Loose leaves in a metal ball
Or men in a shark cage steeping,
Ideas stain the limpid mind
Even while it’s sleeping:

Ginseng or the scent of lymph
Or consequences queasing
Into wide awareness, whence,
Like an engine seizing

Society remits a shudder
Showing it has feeling,
And the divers all have shaving cuts
And the future’s in Darjeeling–

Blind, the brain stem bumps the bars
Of the shark cage, meanwhile, feeding,
And the tea ball’s cracked, its leaves cast
To catastrophic reading:

Ideas are too dangerous.
My love adjusts an earring.
I take her in my arms again
And think of Hermann Göring,

And all liquidities in which
A stain attracts an eating,
And of my country’s changing heart,
And hell, where the blood is sleeting.