About Crows

Paperback | May 17, 2013

byCraig Blais

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An unsentimental and at times disquieting first collection, the poems of About Crows excavate self, family, race, location, sex, art, and religion to uncover the artifacts of a succession of traumas that the speaker does not always experience firsthand but carries with him to refashion into some new importance. This is a book of half-states, broken affiliations, and dislocation.
            The speaker leads the reader through the fragments of a flooded town that grows increasingly elusive the more one looks for it; through a succession of Seoul "love motels" that further displace the outsider to unclaimed margins transformed into sites of creative invention; through "galleries" of artwork, where movement, color, and image are renewed through ekphrasis; and through the world of the metatextual long poem "The Cult Poem," where good and bad moral binaries tangle into a rat's nest of our best and worst spiritual ambitions.
            The poems and sequences of About Crows are marked by their artistic balance of the sublime and the profane, of polyphony, syntactical complexity, clashing images, cagey humor, and unsettling sincerity, all trying desperately to connect.

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An unsentimental and at times disquieting first collection, the poems of About Crows excavate self, family, race, location, sex, art, and religion to uncover the artifacts of a succession of traumas that the speaker does not always experience firsthand but carries with him to refashion into some new importance. This is a book of h...

Craig Blais was born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts. His poems have appeared in such literary journals as Bellingham Review, Best New Poets, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Pinch, Sentence, and Spoon River Poetry Review. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

other books by Craig Blais

About Crows
About Crows

Kobo ebook|May 1 2013

$13.09 online$16.99list price(save 22%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:72 pages, 9 × 7 × 0.4 inPublished:May 17, 2013Publisher:University Of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299291944

ISBN - 13:9780299291945

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Read from the Book

. . . When I tell her I've started to write a book "about crows,"she says she's not certain if there ever was a bar across the street from her nursery school or whether watermelons were sold from a truck therefor only a dollar. Though she's been questioned countless times, she's still unsure what happened before her mouth learned to stop screaming and workedonly to lick condensation from the brick walls of a padlocked root cellar.—excerpt from "About Crows"© The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
 
I. The Lost Town
About Crows
Huffers
My Sister at the Airport
Robert Frost in the Slaughterhouse
Suburban Mythopoetics
An Alternate History of Enfield, Mass.
When I Opened the Anthology of Poets Oppressed
The Fall of Communism
The History of Hockey in My Town
Five Memories of Motion
 
II. The Beverly Hills of Korea (Or, My Life in the Love Motel)
The Rise of Communism
The Beverly Hills of Korea
All the Signs Read ?????
A River
The Mongolia Room
 
III. The Error Gallery
Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers I
Midwinter Rains over Montréal: A Video Installation
Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers II
Summertime (1943)
Scenes from a Village: A Triptych
Orizuru
After We Disembark and Spend the Day on the Island while the Ship's Repaired, I Board Alone, Flip through a Chinese Restaurant Calendar, and Write Three Poems to Express My Feelings
Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers III
The Madonna and Child with St. Anne
Self-Portrait in Shock
The Last Painting
 
IV. The Cult Poem
The Cult Poem
 
Notes

Editorial Reviews

"These haunting, elegant poems are painted with smoke and the colors of the evening sky, and I feel as though I'm peering into rather than merely reading them. Each promises that something is about to happen; the tension they create is irresistible, and as I turn the pages, I find myself drumming my fingers in anticipation and thinking, 'More, please—more.'"—David Kirby