The Foul Rag-and-Bone Shop

Comb-bound: 67 pp.
Published: 1995

Price: $9.95




The Foul Rag-and-Bone Shop is a volume of twenty-nine poems written over a five-year span. The book, conceived in 1967 but expanded in 1969, is the only complete poetry manuscript that the author produced from mid-1967 to August 1971, and its highly symbolic, imagistic pieces reflect his artistic development during that time, including influences from the social and political climates he observed on the East and West Coasts, where "night spreads over itself, / Like orgiastic reptiles just hatched," as well as in the Midwest, where his "brothers of the slime and mire" seem only too eager to "load their minds' quags / With boisterous folly." Unable to settle into such a prosaic existence, he ponders, "Was there ever a rebel born of contentment?"




Somewhere behind the sky, inside a mind-spore,
A warm child hovers at the edge of birth,
Eager to seed the wind with words.
A whitely woman, at night's edge,
Untangles vines climbing ripe runners,
Waits for her man, instrument of love, to come.

A crisp, clear stillness chills wet leaves,
Fills ears with insistent whispering
Of years distant from this house of careers
Called life. It prophesies space, time,
Carves "I love you"s in the bark of trees
Guarding our island against darkening seas.



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