Blessings In Disguise

Clewell’s native turf is the Midwest: sad, wistful, and unlikely, “what’s left between/ this town and the next one,/ between the river and the closest star to home.” Listening to the radio at night, “stations fading in, out at every turn,” “life/ in the static between stations,” his Grant Wood-like figures communicate by breaking through “irrevocable dark” only to realize that “nothing ever comes back right.” But there are “blessings in disguise” in the “strange connections” between lonely people: a rooming-house lodger, travelers in an all-night hash-house, magicians, a man recounting a “life-after-life” experience, a circus worker, dowsers, a boy carried aloft by two large birds, an exotic dancer, and Clewell’s father, who “declared his private war on the planet/ and hurled his body at the ground.” A 1989 National Poetry Series selection.

Buy this book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Selected by

Quincy Troupe