The Face: A Novella in Verse
David St. John
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A haunting and inventive book length sequence of poems from the distinguished author of Study for the World's Body.
The Face is both fiercely lyrical and intimately conversational. Coming to terms with the failure of a great love, the speaker descends into his own dark night of the soul. Here are poems that explore the drama of the shattered self in a variety of voices, calling on memory to speak and imagination to make beauty from the shards. Slowly, the speaker reassembles his life and again finds faith in himself and the world. These poems reveal a swirling cinematic poetry of visionary scope; meditative and confessional in some moments, ironic and playful in others.
Deeply passionate and raw in its candour, The Face may be for this generation of poets what Lowell's Life Studies and Ashbery's Self–Portrait in a Convex Mirror were.
be a bad thing,” The King of Negative Capability said to me One night in Utah. Then he added, “Well, she left me when she found Another bag of coke in my dresser drawer.” Adding, “I mean, it was Just a little bag….” The self-annihilation, perfected. The supreme empathy Of passing into the other & out the other side until there is no self Left to posit anywhere in this world, Larry, not anywhere—At some point, For others, if not for oneself, one finally must be able to say: Here I am. Take
intensely tied to her cell phone, talking in Italian To her daughter: Senti…Tanti baci a Allesandra! who is, clearly, the woman’s Granddaughter. A long silence, then, Grazie, grazie…Ciao!! & in a blink I’m back in the Cinque Terre, walking with Toni in Monterosso—looking down To the rocks & the narrow sand beach, the illumined emerald water—then up Via IV Novembre to Montale’s old summer house, the one called now The Villa Montale. The house of sex & poetry, of candor, the house of
and The New Republic, and it has been widely anthologized. He teaches at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Visit www.AuthorTracker.com for exclusive information on your favorite HarperCollins authors. Other books by David St. John Hush (1976) The Shore (1980) No Heaven (1985) Terraces of Rain: An Italian Sketchbook (1991) Study for the World’s Body (1994) In the Pines: Lost Poems, 1972–1997 (1998) The Red Leaves of Night (1999) Prism (2002) LIMITED EDITIONS
remains the last thing worth remembering. Tonight. V. Black leaves. The notebooks filling with ash. The limbs of the city Warping toward heaven, the limbs of angels angling toward the earth. Hope Like the blisters bursting along the body of the air, the flakes of flint falling Through long fingers of flame. Black leaves. Feuilles de noire… —Where were you, do you remember? (I think the television was hanging, still, In the window of the department store, the silent repetition of
world, mask of notice me, mask of hurt me, Mask of the obsession & its release. The mask of rain. The sweet new night. Mask Without features, mask with no mouth. Mask with closed eyes, mask of Homer Laughing. Mask of the Medusa. Keats’ own death mask. Mask of the dying, Mask of the rising. Mask of the face of Jesus. Endless masks of the face of Jesus. Buddha masks. Vishnu masks. Mohammed masks. Masks of belief. Belief’s Masked masks. Masks of the eyes closed, masks of the visionary. Blake’s