This month for Poetry 365 we’re featuring D.A. Powell’s exhilarating new volume Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys. A staple on multiple 2012 Best Poetry Book lists, Powell’s fifth collection demonstrates his remarkable range of form as he examines his impoverished childhood, ecological disaster, gay sexual awakening, illness, and love. Sleek, witty, scathing, and compact, Useless Landscape finds Powell “turning the corner from promising poet into established power.” So check out this lyrical new book, sample a poem below, and make sure to stop back in 2013 for Poetry 365.
Notes of a Native Son
I’m the truest sort of resident. The kind who,
asked to offer proof that he resides here, fails.
The guy who comes from someplace else & thrives
better than fremontodendron or another local shrub.
I am the child of Argonauts. I’m that Ithaca man
who’s been pre-ordained to wander
just like a common fieldhand, a vacher.
Lotus eaters tempt him.
Sorcery. Seduction. With your permission,
I’m going to make a lot of this story up.
Here is California, region of new mythologies,
the substitute for plot: a history pageant
covering every prospect of the valley
and its processions, from the tardy Donner Party
to the efficiency of the Overnite Express.
That was some caravan.
I slept a long time in the backseat of the car.
Which worked out well for me. For I knew little else.