Poetry 365: Dean Young

February 5, 2016

Dean Young
Poet Dean Young

This month for Poetry 365 we’re highlighting Dean Young’s excellent new book Shock by Shock.  Influenced by the New York School poets and Surrealists such as Andre Breton, this twelfth collection from the Pulitzer Prize finalist is his first of all-new work since undergoing a life-saving heart transplant in 2011.  Slightly more meditative while still bursting with his trademark wit and agile imagery, these finely-crafted poems show why the American Academy of Arts and Letters named Young “one of the most inventive and satisfying poets writing today.”  So don’t miss this terrific new book, sample a library-related poem below, and make sure to stop back next month for Poetry 365.

Eternally the Sky Calls to Us

It was odd to be able to check out
a cadaver from the library. You went
for a book about how to make a sturdy
kite out of pizza boxes and barbed wire
and next to the recent acquisitions
was propped a medium-sized somewhat shrunken
professorial-looking fellow. The librarian
behind the desk couldn’t move her face either
as you produced your card and slung the thing
over your back. It sure wasn’t the shield
of Achilles but surprisingly it smelled okay,
kinda like a gardenia in a shoe or a piece
of wedding cake long frozen because
the groom drove off a cliff on the way
to church. Just wait till thos bastards
see this, you think walking to the park
where all your previous kites were torn apart
by screaming hawks and angels aflame.

shock by shock

Russell J. (Readers’ Services)

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