Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Foreword

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pp. ix-xi

Judging the May Swenson Poetry Competition is a fine way to make yourself a hundred enemies—poets who cut off a slice of their heart and handed it to you in an envelope and you looked at it, nodded, turned away—but that’s just how life is and that’s why we guard our...

Decampment

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pp. 1-5

One: Country of Forgotten Languages

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pp. 7-25

Inside the Skull

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pp. 9-10

Crossing the Gap

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p. 11

Peregrination

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p. 12

Red Roof Inn

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pp. 13-14

Alice

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p. 15

I’m Explaining a Few Things

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p. 16

Still-Life Minus Fruit

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p. 17

The Dead Cause

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pp. 18-19

Henry ’s Blues

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p. 20

Passport

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p. 21

Preparing the Table

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p. 22

At Church

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p. 23

Outside Pinckneyville

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p. 24

Wheat Field with Crows

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p. 25

Two: About the Dead

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pp. 27-45

Creating the Garden

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p. 29

The Second Coming of Christ in the Form of a North American Alligator

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p. 30

Today, Houdini Is Buried

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p. 31

Funhouse of Mirth

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p. 32

Box

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p. 33

American Song

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p. 34

Variations on a Political Theme

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p. 35

An Apology

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p. 36

Saxifrage

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p. 37

Barber

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p. 38

Form

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p. 39

For Years

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p. 40

Surgery

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pp. 41-42

Reminiscing Skyros

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p. 43

Happens Slowly

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p. 44

About the Dead

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p. 45

Three: As Broken in the End

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pp. 47-67

My Brother’s House

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p. 49

It’s No Secret

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p. 50

Float Trip

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pp. 51-52

Getting Arrested

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p. 53

Too Many Hillsides for the Dead

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p. 54

Glass of Water

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pp. 55-56

News of Surgery

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p. 57

O Captain! My Captain!

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p. 58

Open Mic

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p. 59

Trivial Pursuit

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p. 60

Questions of Heaven and Hell on Sunset Blvd

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p. 61

Rick and the Hooker

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p. 62

I watched her going into a gas station

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p. 63

As Broken in the End

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p. 64

Yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion

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p. 65

Only Then

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pp. 66-67

Acknowledgments

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pp. 68-69

About the Author

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p. 70

The May Swenson Poetry Award

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p. 71