"Harvest": October full of dust, floating dimly then falling, the sun burnished garish and whiskey. Its light seeped like dye into the cracked ground. Children softly erupted as their fathers sat in tractors, pulling a curtain closed. I was a child, among the rubble, silos spilling bricks from the top down, cold barns filled with mice, pickup trucks half-crushed and abandoned: convicts all banished to the same unfinished country. The corn outgrew us, clogging our horizons until all we could see was our small box of sky. My father would come home so covered with dust he looked like a scarecrow, his eyes colored hollow with black marker.Staring contests to pass the time, my brother and I, tears running down our cheeks, mother walking in and asking "what's wrong?" I learned about disappearing as the combine left its trail of crop-dust, a blizzard of absence billowing into the remaining stalks; each row of corn was a collapsing wall to a museum of emptiness. I have always felt that I have been spared somehow. At night, we snuck out into the freshly shorn fields to make sure our neighbors were still there, house cloaked for months by the climbing plants.We would see the neighbor children had escaped with us, pale, desperately chasing after themselves across their moon-filled yard.
We would send them messages in code with our flashlights, saying "From over here, you look like ghosts".
Publisher: Salt Publishing
Number of pages: 108
Weight: 152 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 7 mm
Andy Grace's poems pick up and turn over everything you missed the first time around. Nothing escapes his notice - it's as if he is tuned in to every frequency at once. The poems are beautifully textured, delicate and yet disturbing - an unforgettable world of gnats, flies and locusts, "whirring ocean of motes and spores", apprehended and remade with a facility and confidence rare in a new poet.
-- Tracy Ryan