In this Book

About Crows
summary
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.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. c-c
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Part I. The Lost Town
  2. pp. 1-2
  1. About Crows
  2. pp. 3-5
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  1. Huffers
  2. pp. 6-6
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  1. Sister at the Airport
  2. pp. 7-7
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  1. Robert Frost in the Slaughterhouse
  2. pp. 8-8
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  1. Suburban Mythopoetics
  2. pp. 9-10
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  1. An Alternate History of Enfield, Mass.
  2. pp. 11-13
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  1. When I Opened the Anthology of Poets Oppressed
  2. pp. 14-14
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  1. The Fall of Communism
  2. pp. 15-16
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  1. The History of Hockey in My Town
  2. pp. 17-18
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  1. Five Memories of Motion
  2. pp. 19-22
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  1. Part II. The Beverly Hills of Korea (Or, My Life in the Love Motel)
  2. pp. 23-24
  1. The Beverly Hills of Korea
  2. pp. 25-27
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  1. All the Signs Read 어서 오세요
  2. pp. 28-28
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  1. A River
  2. pp. 29-31
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  1. The Rise of Communism
  2. pp. 32-32
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  1. Mongolia Room
  2. pp. 33-36
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  1. Part III. The Error Gallery
  2. pp. 37-38
  1. Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers I
  2. pp. 39-39
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  1. Midwinter Rains over Montréal: A Video Installation
  2. pp. 40-40
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  1. Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers II
  2. pp. 41-41
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  1. Summertime (1943)
  2. pp. 42-42
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  1. Scenes from a Village: A Triptych
  2. pp. 43-45
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  1. Orizuru
  2. pp. 46-46
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  1. Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers III
  2. pp. 49-49
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  1. The Madonna and Child with St. Anne
  2. pp. 50-52
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  1. Self-Portrait in Shock
  2. pp. 53-53
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  1. The Last Painting (Or, Some More about Crows)
  2. pp. 54-54
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  1. Part IV. The Cult Poem
  2. pp. 55-56
  1. The Cult Poem
  2. pp. 57-66
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 67-70
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