By Nate Klug
Where I-95 meets The Pike,
a ponderous thunderhead flowered—
stewed a minute, then flipped
like a flash card, tattered
edges crinkling in, linings so dark
with over the top bright
that, status, ready, on the overpass edge,
the onlooker couldn’t decide
until the top, or perhaps then,
what used to be printed and what have been hidden.
Using various varieties and attaining various musical results, Nate Klug’s an individual strains the unraveling of astonishment upon small scenes—natural and family, political and religious—across America’s East and Midwest. The book’s name foregrounds the anonymity it seeks via numerous potential: first, via shut statement (a concrete observed, a goshawk, a bicyclist); and, moment, through translation (satires from Horace and Catullus, and excerpts from Virgil’s Aeneid). Uniquely between modern poetry volumes, somebody demonstrates fluency within the paradoxes of a spiritual lifestyles: “To stand someday / open air my religion . . . or hold ready / to be claimed in it.” Engaged with theology and the classics yet by no means abstruse, the entire whereas the poems stay grounded within the exceptional, actual international of “what it truly is to consider: / moods, part moods, / swarming, then darting loose.”
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25 In Calico Rock, Arkansas Matthew 26:73 From No Jake Brake and No Barn Burn on to Peppersauce and Greasy Slim old East Calico now a ghost town so anyone’s language shall reveal him decrepit stones once City Jail tells iron sign the words still welded kept and lost in Calico Rock 26 Novitiate for Matt (Brother Isaac) Entire Thursdays in your room. Morning’s easy, now afternoon with its sense of sand leaking from your fist: holes in prayer everywhere you’d already filled them. Breathing out, you think not of the Psalms but lazy dogs as sunlight forks and darts across the floor—ambiguous flashes of oak roots under water or, lacunae intact, a scroll from Qumran, swallowed by a bunch of passing clouds.
Into repeating yourself—you who have been called 28 Three Days “this onward trick of nature” —Emerson 1. Like standing over a hollowed bed in the morning not knowing who wrested you from it. Mostly, nothing 29 2. Find yourself finding yourself again plumbing the river thicket for a deeper russet still to build a world with 30 3. The loneliness of happiness the happiness in loneliness the haplessness 31 Octonaire on the World’s Vanity and Inconstancy (after Antoine de Chandieu) When the sky’s dark face catches his eye again, let memory write of a darkness beyond this: days self-blinded, nights of searching untaught, thinking his own thought light.
Between his mother’s shed and the sidewalk fence lies the circle of dead grass he stalks every afternoon, gazing up and around as if freshly hurled onto the sand of Gérôme’s Colosseum. He first selects a sawed-off golf club from their wooden stand, wrapping it behind his rippling shoulders, then, as the sitar music picks up from his boom box, charms the metal stick down one arm like a rigid snake. Slow swoops towards Warrior II tame whatever rage he might have transferred onto his instrument, or it to him.