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1 Local Warehouse Poetry- A to Z

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Where's the Moon, There's the Moon: Poems


Where's the Moon, There's the Moon: Poems Cover





A Story for Children

(the opening)


If I look to the opposite shore and greet myself there,

if I call out to myself come here

and watch myself laboriously construct from shore-things

a boat, and watch myself over the waters come rowing,

but, crossing the midpoint between shores,

out in the middle of the colorless lake,

no longer approaching, no longer coming closer,

disappear, where am I now, has my boat capsized?


Infinite capacity for love in the smallest detail;

infinite suffering in the innermost reality;

large mind in even the dumbest, mutest object;

destiny in an object that stands still;

heart in the middle of the grey, motionless water;

the largest sadness in the world in a groaning buoy;

in a buoy and the bird overhead, huge sadness,

and yet I hop from place to place as though I’m weightless.


When I picture my father I see the surface of the moon,

plains of moon-stuff, chalk-dust papers shredded

by a paper-shredder, snowbanks of shredded paper,

nobody to organize it all, no way to “moralize the day

out of its aimlessness,” nobody with a Shop-Vac handy

slowly to turn the whiteness into pattern and form,

revealing, as a chisel reveals in the marble,

a figure, a woman’s figure, an expression of bliss—


Now that that big nonentity the moon is in my mind

the clichés for representing earth are hereby banished—

a hundred open-ended poems, abrupt transitions, high tones

grating against the low, unsorted experience;

sex beside the holy man defiled by sex,

the pig pile of ways you can get high, right there

beside the dawn and how you badly want to kill yourself,

the fleer, the road that unravels like a banner before him—


And the child’s attention fixed upon the animal book,

and all the animals in the book intent upon dinner

or eyeing some harbinger cloud forever, permanently

dejected because some little stone turned their child

to stone, weeping big mule or owl tears as though

the child never turned the page, the sun never shone

again bringing larkspurs, gentian, and the mule-boy

reunited with mule mommy and daddy just in time to end,


but the mule on page four will always be sad, the owl

overhead will always mourn for the mule in his sadness,

nobody will ever bring news of page eleven when mule-boy

returns from the dead, and the child reading the book

will always preside like a sinister god over these animals,

always dipping in and out of their moods like a snacker,

a little sadness to tide you over until suppertime,

a little elegiac owl, some time at the grief picnic . . .

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

Chiasson, Dan
Alfred A. Knopf
General Poetry
Single Author / American
Poetry-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.37 x 5.9 x 0.31 in 0.32 lb

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

Where's the Moon, There's the Moon: Poems Used Trade Paper
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Product details 88 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780375711862 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , With “the easy charm of a natural New England oracle” (The Huffington Post), Dan Chiasson brings us poems of young fatherhood, love, and loss that, in his able hands, become existential examinations.
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