The New Young American Poets: An Anthology

By Kevin Prufer | Go to book overview

Angela Shaw

Crepuscule

Yellows cast their spells: the evening primrose
shudders unclosed, sells itself to the sphinx
moth's length of tongue. Again a lackluster
husband doesn't show. A little missus

eases the burnt suffering of a cat-
fish supper, undresses, slowly lowers
into a lukewarm tub. In her honeymoon
nightgown she rolls her own from the blue

can of Bugler, her lust a lamp the wick
of which is dipped in sloe gin. Hands
wander to her hangdog breasts, jaded Friday night
underpants, hackneyed nylon in heat.

Now his black taxidermy outstares her, the stern
heads of squirrel and deer. Now the house confesses,
discloses her like a rumor, vague and misquoted.
From the porch, from the glider she spies rose-

pink twilight flyers—sphinx moths drinking
the calyx, the corolla, the stamen
dry. The stuttering wings, the spread petals
suggest an interlingual breathing, a beating

back of all false tongues. She thinks of the chaw
lodged in his lip when he talks or her husband's
middle finger in the snuffbox and rubbed
along his gum. She walks, wanting him, into the latter-

math, into the primrose, the parched field itching
with critters. She walks, wanting and unwanting
him while birds miss curfew into the thick of the thigh-
high grass, craven and dangerous, in the heavy red.

-154-

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The New Young American Poets: An Anthology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • A Foreword Looking Backwards xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Sherman Alekie 1
  • Talvikki Ansel 4
  • Rick Barot 10
  • Paul Beatty 15
  • Erin Belieu 21
  • Rafael Campo 27
  • Nick Cabó 32
  • Joshua Clover 38
  • Nicole Cooley 41
  • Denise Duhamel 46
  • Thomas Savers Ellis 52
  • Suzanne Gardinier 60
  • James Harms 66
  • Allison Joseph 72
  • Julia Kasdorf 78
  • Joy Katz 83
  • Timothy Liu 88
  • Khaled Mattawa 93
  • Jeffrey Mcdaniel 99
  • Campbell Mcgrath 105
  • Heidilynn Nilsson 112
  • Rick Noguchi 117
  • Barbara J. Orton 124
  • Alan Michael Parker 129
  • D. A. Powell 137
  • Claudia Rankine 143
  • Matthew Rohrer 146
  • Ruth L. Schwartz 149
  • Angela Shaw 154
  • Reginald Shepherd 160
  • Larissa Szporluk 164
  • Ann Townsend 168
  • Natasha Trethewey 173
  • Karen Volkman 177
  • Rachel Wetzsteon 182
  • Greg Williamson 188
  • Max Winter 194
  • Sam Witt 198
  • Mark Wunderlich 204
  • Kevin Young 209
  • Acknowledgments 217
  • Contributors 223
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