Preparing for Incarnations

Revised, expanded edition


Comb-bound: 106 pp.
Published: 1999

Price: $12.50




This volume’s eighty chronologically arranged poems (comprising pieces from Cold Companionable Streams and the original Preparing for Incarnations) provide intense studies of small-town life from the perspective of Brodsky’s watchful poetic eye, perpetually ready to "take careful aim, speculate intuitively" on family, friends, neighbors, and employees. The verse seethes with images of an outsider floundering in the depths of the often-restrictive community around him and facing his own "private and totally asocial dying," in his daily struggle with the demanding roles of husband, new father, and plant manager.




Beads of rain pressed against my wind-screen by high velocity
Are motile sperm climbing an invisible tube,
To reach my uterine mind.
Above the roof, where vision goes blind,

In a dark compartment illumined from far below,
They latch hold in thick suspension,
Explode into figmental children without family names,
Who depend solely on me for their nourishment.

Not necessarily against, but without, my consent,
I've fathered another baby from this drizzle,
To grow up in the City of Poetry, where I've dwelled,
The last twelve years, with my fastidious mistress.



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