In Failure and I Bury the Body, selected by D. Nurkse for the National Poetry Series, Sasha West calls upon the tradition of medieval allegory to speak to modern anxieties. Haunted by a melting Antarctica and the tragedies of the twentieth century, the narrator and the character of Failure take a road trip through the Southwestern desert. Before long, the Corpse, an inescapable passenger, joins them. As the narrator and Failure attempt to rid themselves of his body, the linked poems investigate desire, extinction, and the made world.
WHAT IT USED TO BE LIKE:
Every rabbit in the field brought me luck.
Every rabbit arrived at my door with a basket of luck, extended in their little
I invited them in and took their wooden baskets.
I sat them down.
Then, I skinned each one for a coat, studded with their lucky feet, studded
with the paws
they used to bring me luck in.