Reaching for Longer Water: Poems Selected and New

Reaching for Longer Water: Poems Selected and New

Reaching for Longer Water: Poems Selected and New

Reaching for Longer Water: Poems Selected and New


Award winning poetry critic Ange Mlinko wrote of Parsons and his work, "The Renaissance man was once a courtly ideal; Parsons shows that it is a democratic ideal too--warm-blooded, muscular, as companionable on the page as in the flesh." Both tangible and cerebral, Parsons's poetry lifts its readers into a new, transformational reality with a depth of insight that is truly exceptional.

Reaching For Longer Wate r brings the reader, the most compelling of his poems from his previous four collections, poems hailed by poetry luminaries, Edward Hirsch, Stanley Plumly, Robert Phillips, and Paul Mariani.

After Baudelaire's "Exotic Scent"
Yes, yes, they bestow delights--
not only in the seedy way
we all know: they plant something
in the littoral vacancy
and in an instant there is an ineffable
fire--that forging force
on which so much more depends
than wheelbarrows & chickens.


The old flagship Night Hawk Restaurant sits at a memory axis—
just over the Colorado River Bridge where Riverside Drive crosses

South Congress running east toward the Bergstrom Air Force Base;
where, at the guarded entrance, the large painted water tank spouted

Peace is our profession, the home of Dr. Strangelove’s
bombers of the sixties; and later, those chillingly beautiful aquiline

Phantom jets streaking over the emerald hill country rolls

In the seventies and eighties; this same road ran west past the lazy

Hills of Barton Springs, where those stunningly free living hippie
sprites would play and lay topless, sprawled across the lush

North green banks…across from the icy blue pumping methodical
flow of the springs that fronted my guard stand, appearing

At times as bodies strewn like casualties of some insidious sun
bomb, as I sweltered in baby oil mixed with the bold blood

Of iodine, squinting over small patches of zinc oxide, musing
to the radio sounds of the Stones, Dylan, the many varied

Voices that pumped with steely laced drum beats a music
into the heart of our turbulent days, instilling an urgent urge

To physically act—to escape from the stagnant pools of our youth,
to dive into the current of whitewater energy of the times, swim

That dark and intoxicating mystery, that dangerous rushing, rushing— . . .

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