Cami Park

Archive for September 8th, 2010|Daily archive page

Always an orphanage

In Celebrity, Household, Poetry on September 8, 2010 at 6:46 pm

[Acknowledging Death Was in the Room…]
John Pursley III

Acknowledging death was in the room, she unwound the clocks & removed the jewelry from the nightstand– the small stack of coins & the blue plastic pillbox that never stayed closed. She ran water in the bathroom, working her hands along the porcelain basin of the sink, refolded the towels and plucked, from the carpet, the small bits of leaves they’d ushered in on their shoes. Outside, a train knocked against the trestles towards Chicago, or Detroit, some city she couldn’t quite conceive of– all those buildings butting up against one another, & to what end? Here is a circle. And here, a square. Here is the rectangle where [insert famous name] saved an orphanage from destruction by fire. Always an orphanage, or runaway bride– a kidney-shaped pool being drained of water. Always the encapsulary fragment that says we are moved…are moving. And what of it? she might have asked, his clothes neatly stacked by the door to their bedroom, what of it?

Advertisements

New Michigan Press: A Conventional Weather, by John Pursley III

In Confessional, Poetry, Science on September 8, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Such is the way of windows, of gravity and rock– conventional weather.
John Pursley III, from A CONVENTIONAL WEATHER

A Conventional Weather, John Pursley III

A Conventional Weather, by John Pursley III, is  an exquisitely written collection of 19  portraits of people, places and experience, published by New Michigan Press.

Pursley writes flawlessly, with profound insight and emotional depth, of the conventional lives of conventional people in environments so compellingly drawn as to be both inseparable from, and nearly separate, characters themselves. The Ground Is Swollen & Black: the Air Not Moving at All is a portrait of Pursley‘s father fully wrought with love and pain; almost unbearable to read. The opening lines introduce his father:

Tonight, my father walks the narrow row of railroad ties, now delicate
As the dirt itself & crumbling, the way a mushroom will, when

It begins to dry & draws its moisture to the surface, like a protective skin

and our image of him is inseparable from the land the man is walking: railroad ties, dirt, dryness. Read the rest of this entry »