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Slow of Study by David E. Poston

Main Street Rag
$13, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-59948-534-8
November, 2015
Poetry
Available for pre-order ($7!) from the publisher

"David Poston’s Slow of Study does his heart good—and mine too—triumphing out of the old blind bewilderment of sin, improvising toward a grace and roar of words to figure, finally, the way to worlds of dark light waiting to be felt and embraced."
—Shelby Stephenson, North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee and current North Carolina Poet Laureate

"David E. Poston’s Slow of Study is an steadfast, sonically sophisticated collection of strong-headed and strong-hearted poems that never dwell in ethereal or purposefully befuddling linguistic games. Instead, these poems are sharp-eyed critiques and candid narratives, as well as bittersweet and sometimes bellicose appraisals of Southern religious experience. Too, these poems are often genuinely humorous. Consequently, there’s real love in this volume, a love not merely for the world in which contradictions and hypocrisy enrich the wit and the contours of the poetry, but clear appreciation for fiery motifs: family, death, Christianity, and love itself. Poston shows us places 'where the grass ain’t greener at all…' Where the voice is unafraid to sing with fertile lyricism and creative candor, where the poet is unflinching but never reckless, where true originality blossoms from bald, often desolate truths."
—William Wright, author of Tree Heresies and Night Field Anecdote, series editor of The Southern Poetry Anthology

"Despite its title, David E. Poston’s Slow of Study is a jaunty collection with a go-for-broke approach that eschews fear and half-measures. Some poems wrestle with Jesus and the Old Testament, while others shake the rafters with a kind of rock poetry. The volume moves toward affirmation not afraid to risk sentiment, ending with the title poem echoing in serenity. The speed and energy of these poems sweep the reader along in a varied dance."
—David Radavich, author of The Countries We Live In

Counting Steps

Smooth-humped stones line the gray path.
In July the herb garden is only sticks
and bleached signs curling in the heat;
even the beetles scatter dust.
But around sudden corners the water-
strings spiral through the thick air,
plucked by unseen fingers
spreading faint tinkling brass
and the laughter of bells
dancing in the hollowed pools,
trickling away through the mosses.

St. Francis bows his cool face into
the gentle chiaroscuro of the goldfish pond
swirled by dangling fingertips.
Washed over by the circling hum of the city,
this is the ebb-time,
under a mazy canopy of vine and branch
woven by birdsong and splash of wings
blue-gray, white-tipped, brown-speckled, scarlet—
God's bright trinkets. Even the least of these
finds cool shade here, a deep spirit-draught,
a music that is never still.

David E. Poston taught for thirty years in various public schools, at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and at Charlotte’s Young Writers’ Workshop, and he continues to teach occasional creative writing workshops. His work has appeared in various journals, including Asheville Poetry Review, English Journal, Iodine Poetry Journal, Main Street Rag, Nerve Cowboy, and The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society, and has been widely anthologized. His previous poetry collections are My Father Reading Greek and Postmodern Bourgeois Poetaster Blues, winner of the Randall Jarrell/Harperprints Chapbook Competition. He lives in Gastonia, North Carolina.

 
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