Information about the poet.
In D.A. Powell’s fifth book of poetry, the rollicking line he has made his signature becomes the taut, more discursive means to describing beauty, singing a dirge, directing an ironic smile, or questioning who in any given setting is the instructor and who is the pupil. This is a book that explores the darker side of divisions and developments, which shows how the interstitial spaces of boonies, backstage, bathhouse, or bar are locations of desire. With Powell’s witty banter, emotional resolve, and powerful lyricism, this collection demonstrates his exhilarating range.
I have this rearrangement to make:
symbolic death, my backward glance.
The way the past is a kind of future
leaning against the sporty hood.
—from “Bugcatching at Twilight”
The first poetry collection by D. A. Powell since his remarkable trilogy of Tea, Lunch, and Cocktails, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
so many of the best days seem minor forms of nearness
that easily falls among the dropseed: a rind, a left-behind
—from “no picnic”
In these brilliant new poems from one of contemporary poetry’s most intriguing, singular voices, D. A. Powell strikes out for the farther territories of love and comes back from those fields with loss, with flowers faded, “blossom blast and dieback.” Chronic describes the flutter and cruelty of erotic encounter, temptation, and bitter heartsickness, but with Powell’s deep lyric beauty and his own brand of dark wit.
kids everywhere are called to supper: it’s late
it’s dark and you’re all played out. you want to go home
no rule is left to this game. playmates scatter like
they return to smear the ______. and you’re it
—from “[you’d want to go to the reunion: see]”
In Cocktails, D. A. Powell closes his contemporary Divine Comedy with poems of sharp wit and graceful eloquence born of the AIDS pandemic. These poems, both harrowing and beautiful, strive toward redemption and light within the transformative and often conflicting worlds of the cocktail lounge, the cinema, and the Gospels.