At Lake Scugog

At Lake Scugog: Poems

Troy Jollimore
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 96
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  • Book Info
    At Lake Scugog
    Book Description:

    This is an eagerly awaited collection of new poems from the author ofTom Thomson in Purgatory, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was hailed by theNew York Timesas a "snappy, entertaining book." A triumphant follow-up to that acclaimed debut,At Lake Scugogdemonstrates why the San Francisco Chroniclehas called Troy Jollimore "a new and exciting voice in American poetry."

    Jollimore is a professional philosopher, and in witty and profound ways his formally playful poems dramatize philosophical subjects--especially the individual's relation to the larger world, and the permeable, constantly shifting border between "inner" and "outer." For instance, the speaker of "The Solipsist," suspecting that the entire world "lives inside of your skull," wonders "why / God would make ear and eye / to faceoutward, not in." And Tom Thomson--a character who also appeared in Jollimore's first book--finds himself journeying like an astronaut through the far reaches of the space that fills his head, an experience that prompts him to ask that a doorbell be installed "on theinside," so that he can warn the world before "intruding on't."______

    FromAt Lake Scugog:LOBSTERSTroy Jollimore

    tend to cluster in prime numbers, sub-oceanic bundles of bug consciousnesssubmerged in waking slumber, plunged in pitsof murk-black water. They have coalesced

    out of the pitch and grime and salt suspendedwithin that atmospheric gloom. Their skinis colorless below. But when exposedto air, they start to radiate bright green,

    then, soon, a siren red that wails:I'm dead.The meat inside, though, is as white as teeth,or the hard-boiled egg that comes to mindwhen one cracks that crisp shell and digs beneath.

    Caress the toothy claw-edge of its pincerand you will know the single, simple thoughtthat populates its mind. The lobster trap is eleganceitself: one moving part: the thing that's caught.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-3823-3
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[vi])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [vii]-[viii])
    (pp. 1-22)

    Don’t be misled: that sea-song you hear when the shell’s at your ear? It’s all in your head.

    That primordial tide— the slurp and salt-slosh of the brain’s briny wash— is on the inside.

    Truth be told, the whole place, everything that the eye can take in, to the sky and beyond into space,

    lives inside of your skull. When you set your sad head down on Procrustes’ bed, you lay down the whole

    universe. You recline on the pillow: the cosmos grows dim. The soft ghost in the squishy machine,

    which the world is, retires. Someday it will expire....

    (pp. 23-40)

    Some nights, when Tom retires, he pretty muchimplodes: sucked back through nostril or an ear into the starry void that lies behind his sleep-blanked visage . . . Though his body crouch corpse-still, sunk in suspended animation, arid as freeze-dried food, his spirit finds no rest—a cosmonaut, it treks where no man (and even fewerwomen) have gone before: Tom’s Inner Self. Its never-ending mission: to seek out a new life—one not tobear, butlive. . . Out of range now of Ground Control, and hurtling straight through Ursa Major, Tom accelerates toward the inner...

    (pp. 41-54)

    the milk spoils the piano drifts for years falling out of tune like a disabled satellite

    in a slowly decaying orbit abandoned by its callous makers who trusted it to do

    the right thing, to burn up before hitting the ground that gorgeous flaming penumbra the eye

    on a peacock’s tail or a literal eye staring out of the one clear spot of a fogged-over

    mirror the small hesitation of a struck match before it opens a portal

    to a parallel world a dimension of flame and you and I lounging in the backyard

    the scent of meat on the...

    (pp. 55-87)

    Who’s to say I’m a poet? I fear I want too much: to live a life like a song that’s picked up by others’ lips when I find it has passed from my own. A wandering kiss my spirit will live in. Your house, even when it is empty, yet speaks in a faltering voice, like waves on the lakeshore we both know. My heart grows younger with time, its slow, serene stammer like waves on the lakeshore. We both know my heart is empty, yet speaks in a faltering voice:My spirit will live in your house even when...

    (pp. 88-88)