Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Rob Schlegel - The Lesser Fields

I’ve just finished reading Rob Schlegel’s The Lesser Fields, which won the Colorado prize for Poetry, and came out last year. The Colorado Prize series continues to be one of the most consistently excellent poetry lists out there. And Schlegel has a very light touch that continued to catch me unaware. Here are a couple poems:

Lives of Method

Day following day
And the contents add up.

These it is
That clash—then widen

The field of questions—

That which law
And spirit leaven.

Speak the world in multitudes
And stay in it.

Would that every loss
Reveal its science.

That every prayer
Conceal its source.


Until someone steals my coat
I am the younger brother
of each passenger on the train.

I polish their black shoes
and offer to clean the mirrors in every restroom.

At night I sleep and my siblings
try to see the passing fields
by looking out their windows

but the dark glass only reveals
their own reflections

so they think
if they could lighten their hair, they would.

If they could change their names
they would try that too.


At 2/03/2010 10:44 AM, Blogger Gary L. McDowell said...

Hey John, glad to see you talking a bit about Schlegel's book. He came to WMU to read last month. Was a great guy, a great reader. Anyway, I'm with you on the excellence of The Lesser Fields. Thanks for talking about it!

At 2/03/2010 10:49 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

We just found common ground! Excellent!

It's a really good book. It seemed to tiny, and short, before I started reading it, and then when reading I found that I was reading slowly and that it wasn't tiny or short at all.

At 2/03/2010 11:50 AM, Blogger Gary L. McDowell said...

I can see your point about the book seeming tiny at first. Yeah, I get that. But its gestures, its pulse, its velocity and wandering. Great stuff.

At 2/03/2010 2:21 PM, Blogger J said...

Thanks for the tip--I really like these.


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