In this Book

summary

Alicia Mountain’s urgent and astonishing debut collection maps a new queer landscape through terrain alive and sensual, defiant and inviting. With a voice that beckons while it howls, Mountain nimbly traverses lyric, confessional, and narrative modes, leaving groundbreaking tracks for us to follow. High Ground Coward offers fists full of soil, leftovers for breakfast, road trip as ritual, twins of lovers and twins of ourselves. This world blooms with hunger-inducing detail, its speakers asking us to consider what it will take to satisfy our own appetites while simultaneously trying to nourish one another. “Ferocious, even the softest part,” Mountain shows us “a way to fall in love with wanting,” leaving us “ravenous, but gradually.”

Bearing witness to identity formation in solitude and communion, High Ground Coward is an almanac of emotional and relational seasons. Mountain’s speakers question the meaning of inheritance, illness, violence, mythology, and family architecture. Whether Mountain is at work revealing the divinity of doubt, the entanglement of devotion, or the dominion that place holds over us, High Ground Coward heralds a thrilling poetic debut.

 

From “Scavenger” 

We three eat food and are in love. This is the easy way to say 

there are stores beneath the floor. 

Potatoes and shallots, 

hard-necked garlic streaked purple, 

jars beside jars, themselves 

each staving globes of suction. 

Preservation, a guardian hunger. 

In the evening I whisper to the boiled beet, 

like a naked organ in my flushed hand: 

You are ground blood, 

you are new born, 

you have never been nothing— 

thawfruit seedflower greenstart rootbulb 

handpull shedscrub mouthsweet 

and again. 

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-xii
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  1. The Book Is a Hungry Darkness
  2. p. 1
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  1. Deadbolt Door Syndrome
  2. p. 2
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  1. The Smallest Thaw
  2. pp. 3-4
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  1. Drive Thru
  2. pp. 5-7
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  1. On Being Told to Do Whatever I Want
  2. pp. 8-9
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  1. Elysian / Echo
  2. pp. 10-11
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  1. Southpaw Skin the Gloves
  2. p. 12
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  1. Succession Planting
  2. pp. 13-14
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  1. Haymaker Barnburner
  2. p. 15
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  1. Safety Off
  2. pp. 16-18
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  1. The Whole Water-Faced Auditorium
  2. p. 19
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  1. Almanac Traction
  2. p. 20
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  1. Number Love, My Taxes
  2. pp. 21-22
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  1. Palomino
  2. p. 23
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  1. The Most Elegant Way to Win Was to Quit
  2. pp. 24-25
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  1. Purpose Is the Body and the Un-Body
  2. p. 26
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  1. No Collar
  2. p. 27
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  1. In the Belly of the Horse
  2. pp. 28-29
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  1. Spit Valve Hello
  2. pp. 30-31
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  1. Sunday Polarized Lenses
  2. pp. 32-33
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  1. Orange Grove and a View of the Pacific
  2. p. 34
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  1. A Year or Two
  2. pp. 35-36
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  1. Little Rectangular Earths
  2. p. 37
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  1. What I Loathe in Others I Like in You
  2. pp. 38-39
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  1. Heard Each of Us
  2. pp. 40-41
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  1. The Difference between Oasis and Mirage
  2. pp. 42-44
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  1. Asteroid Recovery
  2. p. 45
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  1. What if the Drought Stayed
  2. pp. 46-47
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  1. A Deer Mistaken for a Statue of a Deer
  2. p. 48
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  1. Upland Honest
  2. pp. 49-50
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  1. This Particular Solvent
  2. p. 51
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  1. With Holding Hands
  2. p. 52
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  1. Hawk Like a Steeple
  2. p. 53
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  1. Beyond Task and Future, Endlessly Worthy
  2. p. 54
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  1. Museum Fear
  2. p. 55
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  1. In the Paint
  2. pp. 56-57
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  1. Solitary Tasting
  2. pp. 58-59
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  1. Supper Conversation
  2. pp. 60-61
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  1. Inescapable Luck
  2. p. 62
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  1. Ricochet
  2. pp. 63-64
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  1. You, the Undersigned
  2. pp. 65-66
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  1. Riparian County
  2. pp. 67-68
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  1. Remember Driving to Salt Lake City
  2. pp. 69-70
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  1. Auxiliary File for Not-Brian
  2. pp. 71-73
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  1. Closing Costs
  2. p. 74
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  1. Some Days
  2. pp. 75-76
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  1. Safelight | Composite | Stereo
  2. pp. 77-78
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  1. Scavenger
  2. pp. 79-88
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  1. Forward Falling Daytime
  2. pp. 89-90
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  1. Open the Box That Holds the Fire
  2. pp. 91-92
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 93-94
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 95-96
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  1. Iowa Poetry Prize and Edwin Ford Piper Poetry Award Winners
  2. pp. 97-99
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781609385460
Related ISBN
9781609385453
MARC Record
OCLC
1008769426
Pages
111
Launched on MUSE
2018-03-09
Language
English
Open Access
No
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