Wednesday, August 10, 2022


I'll be telling you about the connections and the coincidences from here on out in this Sealey Challenge, I know! Yesterday's poet, S. Brook Corfman, mentioned today's poet, C. S. Giscombe, in epigraph and notes! Here, by C. S. Giscombe, is a beautiful book of place, and I intersect with two of his places--Ohio and Illinois--and, more specifically, central Illinois. He taught at Illinois State University for a time, and I have been hearing about him...forever, and this book is published by Dalkey Archive Press, which was here

And, here in central Illinois, it was another beautiful day to read a book outside.

In this one, "the melodious southern wild comes into the cities" on visits to the South in 1978 and 1962. The speaker is "old enough to remember Jim Crow" and

     encsonced in Dixie I am piss elegance,
     nameless dread, I am the route of escape

In Section 4 of a long poem titled "Blue Hole, Flood Waters, Little Miami River," after a painting by Robert S. Duncanson, living in another time of terrible tension, I feel the tension in the air...and how it can dissipate...even in "1960-something, way

     across Wolf Creek w/a white boy my age
     the 2 of us---waiting for buses---reclined
     on some lawn, at
     some intersection:

                                    nothing happened
     my bus came first

I was so glad to read that "nothing happened." The same artist of Blue Hole... is the cover artist here, with View of Cincinnati, Ohio from Covington, Kentucky (1848). So gorgeous, so detailed, such a perfect fit for these poems.

And, in a poem about a dream, I found language that describes one of my own (very scary but also beautiful) dreams: "to mystify landscape into what else but death" so now I don't feel so alone in my scary dreaming...

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