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Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open

Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open: Poems

Diane Seuss
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 88
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  • Book Info
    Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open
    Book Description:

    Diane Seuss’s poems grow out of the fertile soil of southwest Michigan, bursting any and all stereotypes of the Midwest and turning loose characters worthy of Faulkner in their obsession, their suffering, their dramas of love and sex and death. The first section of this collection pays homage to the poet’s roots in a place where the world hands you nothing and promises less, so you are left to invent yourself or disappear. From there these poems both recount and embody repeated acts of defiant selfcreation in the face of despair, loss, and shame, and always in the shadow of annihilation. With darkly raucous humor and wrenching pathos, Seuss burrows furiously into liminal places of no dimension— state lines, lakes’ edges, the space “between the m and the e in the word amen.” From what she calls “this place inbetween” come profane prayers in which “the sound of hope and the sound of suffering” are revealed to be “the same music played on the same instrument.” Midway through this book, a man tells the speaker that beauty is that which has not been touched. This collection is a righteous and fierce counterargument: in the world of this imagination, beauty spills from that which has been crushed, torn, and harrowed. “We receive beauty,” Seuss writes, “as a nail receives / the hammer blow.” This is the poetry that comes only after the white dress has been blown open—the poetry of necessity, where a wild imagination is the only hope.

    eISBN: 978-1-61376-042-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. I the river purrs (and burns)

    • Jesus wept and so did Rowena Lee
      (pp. 3-3)
    • You like it, don’t you, you like it hard and cold
      (pp. 4-4)
    • It was the idea of the calf I loved
      (pp. 5-5)
    • Men displayed the things we didn’t want to see
      (pp. 6-6)
    • The Lee girls had it bad
      (pp. 7-7)
    • In search of the molecular structure of benzene
      (pp. 8-10)
    • Perfect, which I will describe in sixteen lines
      (pp. 11-11)
    • Grammar lesson
      (pp. 12-16)
  5. II we were happy (we were unclean)

    • I dreamed I was a Madame
      (pp. 19-19)
    • When i was a candy striper, i used to braid and unbraid the hair of the ancients
      (pp. 20-21)
    • My boyfriends
      (pp. 22-22)
    • Got my sunrise on the television
      (pp. 23-24)
    • I lie back on my red coverlet and contemplate
      (pp. 25-25)
    • This is now
      (pp. 26-26)
    • The cooked goose
      (pp. 27-30)
    • Song in my heart
      (pp. 31-32)
  6. III lost my baby (almost lost my mind)

    • Let’s meet somewhere outside time and space
      (pp. 35-35)
    • I had two wedding dresses:
      (pp. 36-36)
    • Baby goodbye
      (pp. 37-38)
    • Don’t say Paris
      (pp. 39-40)
    • I met a moon-faced man
      (pp. 41-42)
    • I’m glorious in my destruction like an atomic bomb
      (pp. 43-46)
  7. IV paper heron (painted blue)

    • Spring’s confessional poem
      (pp. 49-49)
    • Wolf Lake, white gown blown open
      (pp. 50-52)
    • What is it, darling, that draws me to you, it’s probably insipid
      (pp. 53-53)
    • Soft pink apple covered in bees
      (pp. 54-55)
    • Fathoms
      (pp. 56-58)
  8. V quick needle (silver light)

    • prayer that goes: dear god
      (pp. 61-61)
    • Even in hell there are songbirds
      (pp. 62-62)
    • Hopes and dreams I tell you
      (pp. 63-63)
    • The way a dog meets the day
      (pp. 64-65)
    • The mewlings and snippings of baby birds
      (pp. 66-66)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 67-68)