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By Peter Campion

Big Avalanche Ravine

Just the caution gentle on a blue crane.

Just mountains. simply the mist that skimmed

them either and bled to silver rain

lashing the condominiums.

But there it sank on me. This urge

to carve a existence from the lengthy expanse.

To carry a few flooring opposed to the surge

of sheer fabric. It used to be a tense

and power and steel shiver.

And it stayed, that tremor, small and stark

as the noise of the hidden river

fluming its facet opposed to the dark.


In his moment selection of poems, Peter Campion writes in regards to the fight of creating a existence in the USA, in regards to the urge “to carve an area” for romance and relations from out of the enormous sweep of contemporary lifestyles. Coursing among the political and private with extraordinary ease, Campion writes at one second of his traumatic connection to the general public political constitution, symbolized by way of Robert McNamara (who makes a startling visual appeal within the identify poem), then within the subsequent, of a haunting reverie underneath a magnolia tree, representing his impulse to flee the tradition altogether. He strikes via quite a few varieties simply as without problems, as convinced in rhymed quatrains as in slim, tensed unfastened verse. In The Lions, Campion achieves a fusion of narrative constitution and lyric depth that proves him to be one of many best possible poets of his iteration.


Praise for Other People          

“Campion is a poet who understands that what a poet sees is not anything with out a mix of formal prowess and emotional insight.”—David Biespiel, The Oregonian




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The Lions

Monstrous Avalanche RavineJust the caution mild on a blue crane. simply mountains. simply the mist that skimmedthem either and bled to silver rainlashing the condominiums. yet there it sank on me. This urgeto carve a existence from the lengthy expanse. to carry a few floor opposed to the surgeof sheer fabric. It used to be a tenseand chronic and steel shiver.

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Sample text

For years that huge desire simmered, then somehow . . didn’t dissipate so much as fuse itself to thought and touch. This May, our life is here, a branching center. Freeways and cellular towers and the blue avenues at dusk with their scuttle and blur. They all, if just for seconds, fall away. You stand in purple shade beside your dresser. And filtering off the park the breeze returns it: • 40 • lilac: its astringent sweetness, circling us as if it were fulfillment of desire. But not fulfillment.

How his name once fell in conversation. Sudden uneasiness. Branch shadows serrating the patio. Then one of them caught the drop with rueful amusement, telling how he clomped straight through the glass wall of the Bauhaus arts center. How my father and his friends stood round in wonder as he shed the pane, its shattered, clattering cascade. • 53 • iii. Claws clicking down the maple halls, the lions circled our house. Svelte messengers of dream they leapt the countertops or lounged against the fireplace with swish indifference.

So many years before the words arrive. Before I pull it back as memory. I want to scream. To claw the surfaces. Quavering through the doorway, I collapse on the bed to wish my rage away as nausea • 32 • washes in waves through the open blue. Invisible to me, the Nile gathers all surfaces in its reflections. The ancient neon Coca Cola sign. Goats bleating from the mud-brick roofs. A whiff of spearmint tea and kef. My mother dipping toes then calves in the turquoise. The agent sent here from Langley haunting his beach umbrella.

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