Synopses & Reviews
"The prolific Lux (The Street of Clocks) should please but may not surprise his many admirers with this 11th book, accessible and surrealist-influenced. Lux begins on a personal note, with a sentimental elegy for the New England poet and critic Peter Davison, 'the gentleman who spoke like music.' By the end of the book, though, he has depicted little of his external life, few facts and stories about himself, and yet revealed a whole personality through dreamlike scenes, jokes and a persistent grimness. In 'The Republic of Anesthesia,' evolution creates 'arid hairsplitting' amid cruelty, as 'One frog eats another frog.' Lux favors an unobtrusively fluent free verse, whose motions and line breaks focus less on sound than on image and tone. Reminiscent sometimes of a darker Billy Collins, sometimes of an easier-to-follow James Tate, Lux mixes deep gloom with a broad sense of humor, confessing his 'Autobiographophobia' ('I will not confide/ my serial poisoning of parakeets'), contemplating 'black thoughts... remedyless and truculent,' depicting an ideal library beside a nightmarish zoo or musing on dilemmas few of us will ever face: 'How Difficult/ for the quadriplegics to watch/ the paraplegics play.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
God Particles displays the distinctive originality and unpredictability that prompted the Washington Post Book World to name Lux one of this generations most gifted poets. A satiric edge, tempered by profound compassion, cuts through many of the poems in Luxs book. While themes of intolerance, inhumanity, loss, and a deep sense of mortality mark these poems, a lighthearted grace instills even the somberest moments with unexpected sweetness. In the title poem Lux writes, theres no reason for God to feel guilt / I think He was downhearted, weary, too weary / to be angry anymore . . . / He wanted each of us, / and all the things we touch . . . / to have a tiny piece of Him / though we are unqualified, / of even the crumb of a crumb.” Dark, humorous, and strikingly imaginative, this is Luxs most compassionate work to date.
About the Author
THOMAS LUX holds the Bourne Chair in Poetry and is the director of the McEver Visiting Writers Program at Georgia Institute of Technology. He has been awarded three NEA grants and the Kingsley Tufts Award and is a former Guggenheim Fellow. He lives in Atlanta.
Table of Contents
I The Gentleman Who Spoke Like Music 3 Behind the Horseman Sits Black Care 4 The Hungry Gap-Time 5 Hitlers Slippers 6 Sleeps Ambulance 7 Lump of Sugar on an Anthill 8 Stink Eye 9 The Lead Hour 10 The First Song 11 Peacocks in Twilight 12 Nolens Volens (Whether Willing or Unwilling) 13 Gravy Boat Goes over Waterfall 14 The General Law of Oblivion 15 Midmorning 16 Put the Bandage on the Sword and Not the Wound 17 The Harmonic Scalpel 18 The Republic of Anesthesia 19 Man Pedaling Next to His Bicycle 20 Her Hat, That Party on Her Head 21 Eyes Scooped Out and Replaced by Hot Coals 22 The Pier Aspiring 23
II God Particles 27 Their Feet Shall Slide in Due Time 28 Invective 29 Jesus Baby Teeth 30 How Difficult 31 Apology to My Neighbors for Beheading Their Duck 32 Antinomianism 33 5,495 34 The Utopian Wars 36 The Joy-Bringer 37
III The Happy Majority 41 Cliffs Shining with Rain 42 The Shooting Zoo 43 The Ambrosiana Library 44 The Deathwatch Beetle 46 Mole Emerging from Trench Wall, Verdun, 1916 47 The Grand Climacteric 48 Vaticide 49 Early Blur 50 Sex After Funerals 51 Puzzlehead 52 Blue Vistas Glued 53 The American Duel 54 Toad on Golf Tee 55 And the Mice Made Marriage All Night 56 Vinegar on Chalk 57 Autobiographophobia 58 Sugar Spoon 60 A Clearing, a Meadow, in Deep Forest 61