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Use Trouble

Use Trouble

poems by MICHAEL S. HARPER
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 368
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/j.ctt1xckc0
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  • Book Info
    Use Trouble
    Book Description:

    For decades, Michael S. Harper has written poetry that speaks with many voices. His work teems with poetry configured as awe, poetry as courtship, and poetry as elegy and homage. Infused with tales and riddles, sass and satire and surprise, Harpers poetry takes the form of psalms, jazz experiments, soft serenades, and radical provocations. _x000B__x000B_In Use Trouble, his first major collection since Songlines in Michaeltree, Harper renews poetry as the art of taking nothing for granted. In three groups--"The Fret Cycle," "Use Trouble," and "I Do Believe in People"--he draws on his seemingly inexhaustible resources to paint, sing, sympathize, and sorrow. Here are his tributes to his father and family, his irrepressible playfulness, and his lifelong romance between poetry and music.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09147-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[vi])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [vii]-[xiv])
  3. part ONE THE FRET CYCLE
    (pp. 3-28)

    We’re just re-tuning among the dials

    engineer a student (Chris) we spoke of Scituate reservoir once

    I’m sending him a book in the campus mail

    (he has that shorthand on email of watery entitlement a fix)

    Paul making new solos in accompaniment writes new music

    only he can hear a praxis of support near duet, his unction

    I watch him ‘fret’ over the blur of notched etching awhile back

    when we were in the pitch of answering everything behind the beat

    we will not be playing today my words now only an arrangement

    an order a pace but his polishing...

  4. part TWO USE TROUBLE
    (pp. 31-238)

    Your probings take me back

    to old neighborhoods:

    Ivy Street

    a gay alley

    when gay meant other:

    the fireman, his ax

    held high,

    being shown the door

    to the fire

    standing open,

    the plants

    in the yard

    fireproof

    the gaslite

    of the fireplace

    a visage

    of her mother

    as a child

    having just given up

    a child.

    I stood on Miramar

    without a gate

    to protect me

    and paid my Mexican

    landlord

    reasonable rent

    for a house

    with a backyard

    my first son

    could play in:

    all the houses

    were pastel;

    driving through the fog

    to Junipero Serra

    WOMAN IN...

  5. part THREE I DO BELIEVE IN PEOPLE
    (pp. 241-342)

    I had to tell you Leo did arrangements for Fletcher Henderson

    (his club foot no impediment to his musical room none could enter)

    Our father tried to buy that house to keep it in the family

    (his lookalike Patrice perennial student at Bard would visit Aunt Cora)

    in Hudson where Ella Fitzgerald was entombed in reform school

    Aunt Wini remembers traipsing with Ken and cousin Bob at Aunt Cora’s

    mother Mrs. Williamson Ken would keep rambunctious spoiled cousin

    Bob in tow (Ken could ride a horse and look good doing it

    for some reason Wini not allowed to ride a...

  6. INDEX OF TITLES
    (pp. 343-346)
  7. Back Matter
    (pp. 347-354)