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by D. A. Powell

Paperback, 66 pages, Farrar Straus & Giroux, List Price: $14 |


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D. A. Powell

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Book Summary

A contemporary Divine Comedy combines elements of the cocktail lounge, the cinema, and the Gospels, mixed with an eloquence to capture the modern pathos of a poet writing in the aftermath of the AIDS pandemic. Original.

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

Excerpt: Cocktails


Graywolf Press

Copyright © 2004 D.A. Powell
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1-55597-395-7

Chapter One

[the cocktail hour finally arrives: whether ending a day at the office] the cocktail hour finally arrives: whether ending a day at the office or opening the orifice at 6am [legal again to pour in californica]: the time is always right we need a little glamour and glamour arrives: plenty of chipped ice a green jurassic palm tree planted. a yellow spastic monkey swinging a pink classic flamingo impaled upon the exuberant read of cherries dash of bitters. vermouth sweet. enough rye whiskey to kill this longing: I take my drinks stiff and stuffed with plastic. like my lovers my billfold of rubbers. OPENs my mouth: its tiny neon lounge [college roommate gone: his hamper full. I'll do us both a favor] My Beautiful Launderette (1985, Stephen Frears, dir.) college roommate gone: his hamper full. I'll do us both a favor sorting his socks like demented wife. smoothing the pillowcase its callipygous dent splayed bonewhite: spluttered where I laid him what is a friend but a lover held at bay? we find our quarry want to tear each other: canines exposed. our leashes tangle grant us the safety of fenced-in yards: we worry the neighbors love is seldom a dull chore: I know how to fold his t-shirts how they smell before and after. washing and tumbling piggish delight the rooting after truffles. whiff and snout in his absence I build a model of him. clothed in white undies starched where he's starched and softened where he's soft I use his favorite bounce. bleach-free tide to hinder chafing in separate rooms we count on our fingers the passing hours we know the way each door swings open: how to find each other agitating in the dark: sheets snaps elastic and those clumsy buttons [listen mother, he punched the air: I am not your son dying] a stabat mater listen mother, he punched the air: I am not your son dying the day fads and the starlings roost: a body's a husk a nest of goodbye his wrist colorless and soft was not a stick of chewing gum how tell? well a plastic bracelet with his name for one. & no mint his eyes distinguishable from oyster show? only when pried open she at times felt the needle going in. felt her own sides cave. she rasped she twitched with a palsy: tectonic plates grumbled under her feet soiled his sheets clogged the yellow BIOHAZARD bin: later to be burned soot clouds billowed out over the city: a stole. a pillbox hat [smart city] and wouldn't the taxis stop now. and wouldn't a hush smother us all the vascular walls graffitied and scarred. a clotted rend in the muscle wend through the avenues throttled t-cells. processional staph & thrush the scourge the spike a stab a shending bile the grace the quenching mother who brought me here, muddler: open the window. let birds in