The Poet, the Lion, Talking Pictures, El Farolito, a Wedding in St. Roch, the Big Box Store, the Warp in the Mirror, Spring, Midnights, Fire & All by C.D. Wright

$18 Copper Canyon Press

Such a lovely opportunity to keep company with the quietly dazzling C.D. Wright. Her subject in this collection of short essays is most often poetry, approached with her ever-seeking mind, charm, and electric intelligence. She investigates the work and influence of Brenda Hillman, Robert Creeley, John Taggart, Jean Valentine, and other poets, but also, in one of the longer pieces, finds a relationship between poetry and the American prison-industrial complex. This collection includes a number of single paragraph pieces celebrating language, each titled “In a Word, a World.” Here follows one of them; enjoy—


I know the adjective can be a nuisance, and the adverb clumsy. I am a touch sick of the poetic inflation around prepositions. I would prefer that conjunctions were less visibly functional. Articles can clutter. The verb works the hardest. It should be the best paid. And I know fifteenth letter O is the best of all: O my black frying pan. O my fallen arches. O my degenerating fibroids. O what’s the point. O little man at the foot of my bed, please don’t steal my pillow.