Publication date: August 29, 2011 [125 copies]
“In this heartbreaking new collection, Daniel Nathan Terry dramatizes the surreal carnage of Katrina (‘Shrimp boats littered I-90’) as well as anyone has. What he does better than anyone I know is embody the souls, the voices of this tragedy—our tragedy—in endlessly inventive and luminous forms, such as the impossibly tender pantoum which begins:
I have gathered for your grave
every dollar that we made,
every prayer I ever prayed,
every nickel that we saved.
In this 20-line epitaph, we are given everything we need to know not only about the couple, but about the love between them—and Terry holds that love in the palm of his hand, even as he memorializes it, as tenderly as a mother holds her child. But this is a book whose real, covert subject is love, after all, rather than loss and mourning. It ends, fittingly, with a poem titled ‘What Remains’—in which Terry’s eye lights upon an image most poets would likely not notice: ‘Two swallowtails mating . . .’ Here, in the devastation of Katrina’s aftermath, this poet draws our attention to the most fragile and bedraggled detail imaginable—but it is also an image radiant with truth, with defiance, and ultimately, with our own salvation.”
–Michael White, author of Re-entry and Palma Cathedral
“Part documentary, part dirge, part plainsong of indestructible hope—this book provides a poetic diorama of New Orleans, after the storm. Terry sees with such precision, and articulates his vision with such compassion the language takes on an almost physical presence. These powerfl, graceful, confident poems are built to last.”
–Mark Cox, author of Natural Causes
Daniel Nathan Terry, a former landscaper and horticulturist, is the author of Capturing the Dead (NFSPS Press, 2008) which won the 2007 Stevens Prize, and a limited-edition chapbook, Waxwings (Seven Kitchens Press, 2010). His poetry has appeared in several journals, including New South, Poet Lore, and The Spoon River Poetry Review, and in the forthcoming anthology, Collective Brightness (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2011). He holds an MFA in Creative Writing/ Poetry from UNC Wilmington, and teaches currently at Cape Fear Community College and UNCW. More information is available on Daniel’s website: www.danielnathanterry.com.
Two swallowtails mating
after the storm–
wings washed brown
with rain, edges pinking-sheared
by hours and days of the impossible–
too weary to rise an inch above
Highway 90 as it smokes its heat
into the evening air, too damaged
to be what they are–they roil
like water snakes.
they find something to be
other than doomed.
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