In this Book

Family System
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Winner of the 2012 Colorado Prize for Poetry, selected by Elizabeth Willis

“Family System is one of the most specific and clarifying books of poetry I’ve ever read. It is filled with choices—made, to be made, not made—handled with a poetic understanding that what seems arbitrary will be inevitable when said with the right words while singing the right songs. This is a stand-out first book, introducing a first-rate original talent, doing powerful work, making quintessentially lyrical choices. Don’t miss this book.”
—Dara Wier

“It seems that Jack Christian’s brain is able to produce tiny lucid creatures, have them run and sprinkle over a map of an unknown world with joy, speed and delight. Even stranger, he’s somehow the spiritual offspring of very different ancestors: Pascal’s Esprit de geometrie and Scandinavian mythology. ‘I was eulogizing a squirrel in a shoebox.’ Brilliant.”
—Tomaž Šalamun

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. CONTENTS
  2. pp. vii-ix
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  1. ONE
  2. p. 1
  1. FAMILY SYSTEM
  2. p. 3
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  1. NEW REVISED STANDARD
  2. p. 4
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  1. A CIRCUMFERENCE
  2. p. 5
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  1. A TREE
  2. p. 6
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  1. MARIE
  2. pp. 7-9
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  1. MY LIFE
  2. p. 10
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  1. GLADETOWN CEMETERY
  2. p. 11
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  1. RURAL MANAGEMENT
  2. p. 12
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  1. I AM YOURS
  2. p. 13
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  1. ROSELAND
  2. p. 14
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  1. A SIMILE
  2. p. 15
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  1. A MIND IS MADE OF GRASSES
  2. p. 16
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  1. A GIANT REALM
  2. p. 17
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  1. WIDESPREAD, PLAUSIBLE
  2. p. 18
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  1. POEM OF MY HOPE
  2. p. 19
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  1. TWO
  2. p. 21
  1. A PARADOX
  2. p. 23
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  1. IN A MEADOW ON A BEAM
  2. p. 24
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  1. MORE LIKE A FACTORY
  2. pp. 25-26
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  1. REPORTER
  2. p. 27
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  1. AFTER A PAINTING BY HENRYK FANTAZOS
  2. p. 28
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  1. A FENCE
  2. p. 29
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  1. RESPONSIBILITY
  2. p. 30
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  1. EIGHT MONKS IN UNISON
  2. p. 31
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  1. MARCH WITH WOUNDED HOUND
  2. p. 32
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  1. ORGANIZATION IS ALSO A MAKING
  2. p. 33
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  1. AS SURELY
  2. p. 34
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  1. A HILL
  2. p. 35
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  1. A CATARACT
  2. p. 36
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  1. LET’S COLLABORATE
  2. pp. 37-38
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  1. THREE
  2. p. 39
  1. HELL IS FIRE HEAVEN IS CAKE
  2. p. 41
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  1. MOURNING PICTURE
  2. p. 42
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  1. YOU’RE RIGHT I DID ENJOY THE EXCURSION TO THE BUNGALOW
  2. p. 43
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  1. TWELVE SONGS
  2. p. 44
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  1. AN APE
  2. p. 45
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  1. TAXONOMY
  2. p. 46
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  1. OUR AIR IS MORE A BRANCH
  2. pp. 47-48
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  1. WE’RE CHANGING IRONY
  2. p. 49
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  1. EARLY SPRING
  2. p. 50
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  1. NORTHAMPTON ECSTATIC
  2. p. 51
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  1. ANOTHER EDEN
  2. p. 52
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  1. GOTHIC PEOPLES INSTITUTE
  2. pp. 53-54
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 55-56
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  1. Production Notes
  2. p. 57
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