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Winter Dogs / Drew Blanchard

Winter Dogs

By: Drew Blanchard

€12.00 €6.00
From Chicago to Moscow, from the Mississippi to Mt. Hood, Drew Blanchard furnishes his landscapes with stories of things people consume (“blackberry pie” and “ice buckets full of Blatz”) and the things that consume them (“absence” and “sage advice”). He creates a world that is intensely felt, where, “Words thrown like barroom bottles/ break in evening air.” ...
ISBN 978-1-907056-62-8
Pub Date Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Cover Image “What Remains” by Nichole Maury is borrowed from an installation of 36 prints. Cover design: Deep Sea Studios
Page Count 70
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From Chicago to Moscow, from the Mississippi to Mt. Hood, Drew Blanchard furnishes his landscapes with stories of things people consume (“blackberry pie” and “ice buckets full of Blatz”) and the things that consume them (“absence” and “sage advice”). He creates a world that is intensely felt, where, “Words thrown like barroom bottles/ break in evening air.”

—Kathleen Rooney, Rose Metal Press

In Blanchard’s poetry, personal stories become universal stories in the same way that “two bison become an electric fence.” It feels like magic, but also breathtakingly real. Never a bird when it can be a sparrow, never a creek when it can be Trout Creek. And magic of this sort should not be missed.

—Erica Wright, Guernica Magazine

Drew Blanchard

Drew Blanchard, born in Dubuque, Iowa, is the author of the chapbook, Raincoat Variations, and the full-length collection of poetry, Winter Dogs, from Salmon Poetry. He holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Iowa, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from The Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he was twice awarded The Academy of American Poets Prize. 

Watching Fire

The blaze of maple’s orange and sumac’s red
has fallen away, and gingko’s golden fans
are all that remain. The earth is ashy now
with leaves, a carpet of crackling death, and yet
I love the feel of life before we retreat
for winter, to breathe the same air again and again.
Last week my neighbor’s wife walked out on him.
I know this because he and a fifth
of Johnny Walker didn’t go home until
my kitchen windows turned from black to gray
and pink—an autumn sun our final call.
The next day, raking leaves, I heard a crash
from Jerry’s house, and then his sweaty head
poked out the back door. Looking wildly around
he dragged, banging and clanking, a bed frame
into the middle of his lawn. Smiling, he walked
back inside. A minute later he returned,
the mattress cut in two; he tossed the pieces
on the broken frame. After a few hours,
a sculpture of shoes and books,
of clothes and kitchen utensils, amassed
in Jerry’s backyard.
                              When my parents divorced
I didn’t see such passion screaming from them.
I was ten, the same year Father said “it’s time,”
my brother and I finally old enough
to help him chop and gather wood. We scoured
ravines behind our house and down to Trout
Creek in search of fallen oaks and elms.
Father cut hundred year old trees into wedges
small enough to chop. Small pieces of dust
and chips clung to his beard and clothes,
cloaking him in what he was dismantling.
The strangest thing I recall the year Mother left,
was that Father, who never wasted the good oak,
our fuel for the stove, built a bonfire that burned
late into the dark of an autumn night.

Copyright © Drew Blanchard 2011
Listen to Drew Blanchard interviewed on NPR (National Public Radio) here:  http://www.wuwm.com/programs/lake_effect/view_le.php?articleid=1213

Other Titles from Drew Blanchard

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