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About the Dead

Poems

Travis Mossotti

Publication Year: 2011

Travis Mossotti writes with humor, gravity, and humility about subjects grounded in a world of grit, where the quiet mortality of working folk is weighed. To Mossotti, the love of a bricklayer for his wife is as complex and simple as life itself: "ask him to put into words what that sinking is, / that shudder in his chest, as he notices / the wrinkles gathering at the corners of her mouth." But not a whiff of sentiment enters these poems, for Mossotti has little patience for ideas of the noble or for sympathetic portraits of hard-used saints. His vision is clear, as clear as the memory of how scarecrows in the rearview, "each of them, stuffed / into a body they didn't choose, resembled / your own plight." His poetry embraces unsanctimonious life with all its wonder, its levity, and clumsiness. About the Dead is an accomplished collection by a writer in control of a wide range of experience.

Published by: Utah State University Press

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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pp. 11-

Peregrination

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pp. 12-

Red Roof Inn

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pp. 13-14

Alice

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pp. 15-

I’m Explaining a Few Things

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pp. 16-

Still-Life Minus Fruit

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pp. 17-

The Dead Cause

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pp. 18-19

Henry ’s Blues

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pp. 20-

Passport

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pp. 21-

Preparing the Table

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pp. 22-

At Church

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pp. 23-

Outside Pinckneyville

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pp. 24-

Wheat Field with Crows

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pp. 25-

Two: About the Dead

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pp. 27-45

Creating the Garden

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pp. 29-

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

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pp. 30-

Today, Houdini Is Buried

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pp. 31-

Funhouse of Mirth

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pp. 32-

American Song

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pp. 34-

Variations on a Political Theme

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pp. 35-

An Apology

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pp. 36-

Saxifrage

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pp. 37-

Barber

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pp. 38-

Form

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pp. 39-

For Years

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pp. 40-

Surgery

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pp. 41-42

Reminiscing Skyros

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pp. 43-

Happens Slowly

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pp. 44-

About the Dead

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pp. 45-

Three: As Broken in the End

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pp. 47-67

My Brother’s House

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pp. 49-

It’s No Secret

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pp. 50-

Float Trip

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pp. 51-52

Getting Arrested

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pp. 53-

Too Many Hillsides for the Dead

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pp. 54-

Glass of Water

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pp. 55-56

News of Surgery

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pp. 57-

O Captain! My Captain!

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pp. 58-

Open Mic

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pp. 59-

Trivial Pursuit

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pp. 60-

Questions of Heaven and Hell on Sunset Blvd

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pp. 61-

Rick and the Hooker

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pp. 62-

I watched her going into a gas station

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pp. 63-

As Broken in the End

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pp. 64-

Yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion

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pp. 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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pp. 70-

The May Swenson Poetry Award

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pp. 71-


E-ISBN-13: 9780874218282
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874218268

Page Count: 88
Illustrations: 3 line drawings
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: 1st Edition
Series Title: Swenson Poetry Award Series

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