Saturday, October 25, 2008


Here's a preview of poems in the current issue of The Paris Review. "User's Guide to Physical Debilitation" is the lead poem in my new book, My Index of Slightly Horrifying Knowledge, due out in a couple of weeks. I received my box of copies and Ecco did a superlative job -- thank you, everyone.

Finally read the Poets & Writers article. Not bad.

And today, in The Washington Post, Mary Karr features My Index of Slightly Horrifying Knowledge in the column Poet's Choice. You'll probably need to register to read it online.

And here's a new poem.


Everyone I know is mad
to make a mess of every littlest thing.
Thinking this makes numbers
easier to dial when all the news will be
about dead Bigfoot, ape suit
with a mouth full of phony
orthodontics and the pink guts spooled out
of a possum, more to be feared,
believe me, with its glass chunk eyes and needle
teeth. But I want to be terrified.
I want to sleep beneath
something antique
even beasts won’t want to lift
no matter the ravening gush of blood in their ears.
I want to count footsteps
in their approach
when all the precepts of ambush
have been abandoned. What a hoax
are these few seasons dwindling down
to a manageable monotony of blue
sky and the vapor-dowsed horizon
over there and the coiled-up weathers
stupid with rage and water. Right now
there is a roar of crappy cars coming
ever this way and it’s like sadness
is being delivered doorstep
to doorstep. And I’m with them,
running out into the night.
My naked chest, my crashing heart,
a crumpled sound falling out of heaven.


newzoopoet said...

This leaped at me: "it’s like sadness
is being delivered doorstep
to doorstep." Sad and beautiful,Paul.

Betsy said...

I loved the Poets and Writers article. You looked great in the pictures, and the writer did a super job. I actually recognize you from the profile, and of course, that made me miss you lots. You know, P&W should start inserting fold-out, poster-sized pictures of some of its better looking writers. The teen girl in me would like that! Take care and congratulations on all the super news of the past year.

Anonymous said...

I really like the lyricism of this poem, Paul, thanks for it.

Emily A. Benton said...

I really enjoyed the P&W article and also your second book, which I read last year.

I'm a native of Chattanooga, too! What high school did you go to?