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Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys

[poems]
Powell, D. A. (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys
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*Winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry* nbsp; I have this rearrangement to make:symbolic death, my backward glance.The way the past is a kind of futureleaning against the sporty hood.nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; -from "Bugcatching at Twilight"In D. A. Powell's fifth book of poetry, the rollicking line he has made his signature becomes the taut, more discursive means to describing beauty, singing a dirge, directing an ironic smile, or questioning who in any given setting is the instructor and who is the pupil. This is a book that explores the darker side of divisions and developments, which shows how the interstitial spaces of boonies, backstage, bathhouse, or bar are locations of desire. With Powell's witty banter, emotional resolve, and powerful lyricism, this collection demonstrates his exhilarating range.
Authors: Powell, D. A. (Douglas A.)
Title: Useless landscape, or a guide for boys
[poems]
Publisher: Minneapolis, Minn. : Graywolf Press, c2012
Characteristics: 108 p. ;,24 cm
Statement of Responsibility: D. A. Powell
Notes: Poems
Contents: Useless landscape. Almonds in bloom ; Tender mercies ; Cherry blossoms in spring ; The fluffer talks of eternity ; Landscape with sections of aqueduct ; Useless landscape
Bidwell Park ; The Kiwi comes to Gridley, CA ; College City Market, College City, CA ; Seven sketches for a landscape, unfinished ; A brief history of internment ; The bathers ; Little boy blue ; Dying in the development ; Chicken ; Bojangles ; Dying in a Turkish bath ; End of days ; That's where they hide the silos ; Panic in the year zero ; Landscape with temple, mosque and little crosses ; Landscape with combine ; Quarantine ; Release the sterile moths ; Valley of the dolls ; Landscape with figures partially erased ; Homesickness ; Bugcatching at twilight ; Head out on the highway ; Tarnished angel ; Riverfront Park, Marysville, CA ; Love hangover ; Landscape with lymphatic system, system of rivulets, system of rivers ; An elegy for my libido ; Abandonment under the walnut tree ; The price of funk in Funkytown ; Traveling light
A guide for boys. Outside Thermalito ; The opening of the cosmos ; One thousand and one nights ; Funkytown: forgotten city of the plain ; Notes of a native son ; Donkey basketball diaries ; A little less kettledrum, please ; Narcissus ; My life as a dog ; A guide for boys ; Boonies ; Lessons in woodworking ; Pupil ; Elements of a cross-country runner ; Magic kingdom come ; Space junk ; Sporting life ; Dying in a fallow ; Reaching around for you ; Goodbye, my fancy ; Hereafter ; Midnight cowbell ; Do the hustle ; Once and future houseboy ; Backdrop with splashes of cum on it ; Transit of Mercury ; Platelet count descending ; Backstage pass ; Having a rambutan with you ; Summer of my bone density test ; The great unrest ; Orchard in January ; Ode to joy ; Missionary man ; Mass for Pentecost: canticle for birds & waters
ISBN: 9781555976057
1555976050
Branch Call Number: 811.5 P882u 2012
Subject Headings: American poetry 20th century Poetry
Topical Term: American poetry
Poetry
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This is a book that explores the darker side of divisions and developments, which shows how the interstitial spaces of boonies, backstage, bathhouse, or bar are locations of desire.

Winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry.


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Jun 12, 2013
  • dpecsreads rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I thought this collection by D.A. Powell (which was highly lauded by NPR and the National Book Critics Circle) was a little inconsistent - there are some powerful poems here, and some that are unconventional in topic (the poem on 'fluffers' comes to mind first), but there are some that just fall flat.
The book is broken into two halves, as noted by the dual title of the collection; I think the "Useless Landscape" half of the text is a bit more cohesive (reminiscent of Campbell McGrath's "Capitalism" poems), and is marginally better than the second half, "A Guide for Boys."

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