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276 Western American Literature poets who do not let the words steer the ship, who only use words as the neces­ sary conveyance of stories. This book is a masterful example. These poems are as deftly drawn as a zen ink wash. MARK WEBER Albuquerque, New Mexico How Crows Talk and Willows Walk. By Gary Esarey. (Boise, Idaho: Ahsahta Press, 1995. 56 pages, $6.95.) In the Afterword to his first collection of poetry, Gary Esarey, who works at Whitman College in Walla Walla, claims that “though for years suppressed below the level of daily preoccupation, poetry . .. is an old habit, an old wound, an old vice long neglected.” Having returned to the West, he has returned to poetry, and we can be grateful that he has. The poems in this collection possess a fine musicality of phrasing. The rhythms and startling syntax remind one of Gerard Manley Hopkins, e. e. cummings , and Dylan Thomas, though not (as this list suggests) foreign to his own place, but transmuted in it: Outdoors is dusty dirty rank and hot with bugs badgers bees bears—objectionable the lot— even deer may scratch or give you fleas (while a rattler wouldn’t do the latter);. . . These poems meter out a music uncommon in, but enriching to, the West. The clipped and contorted speech keeps us ever alert to the language and image of the not-quite-mundane world around us. His effort, in poems of family, wildlife, local character, is to provide a de-romanticized but not unmagical view of small town western life: “Among the things I cease to be is cowboys.” TOM LYNCH University of Southern Colorado Lethal Frequencies. By James Galvin. (Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Pross, 1995. 62 pages, $11.00.) This fourth collection of poems by James Galvin comes three years after The Meadow, his deservedly acclaimed prose treatment of the southeastern Wyoming/Colorado border country. Although Galvin has taught at universities in Kentucky, California, Iowa, and Montana, his poetry in Lethal Frequencies and three earlier volumes—Imaginary Timber (1980), God’ s Mistress (1984), ...