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Useless Landscape, Or, A Guide for Boys

[poems]
Powell, D. A. (Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Useless Landscape, Or, A Guide for Boys
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"In D.A. Powell's fifth poetry book, the rollicking line he has made his signature becomes the taut, more discursive means to describing beauty, singing a dirge, directing an ironic smile, or questioning who in any given setting is the master and who is the pupil. This is a book that explores the darker side of divisions and developments, which shows how the interstitial spaces of boonies, backstage, bathhouse, or bar are locations of desire. With Powell's witty banter, emotional resolve, and powerful lyricism, this collection demonstrates his exhilarating range"--Dust jacket.
Authors: Powell, D. A. (Douglas A.)
Title: Useless landscape, or, A guide for boys
[poems]
Publisher: Minneapolis, Minn. : Graywolf Press, c2012.
Characteristics: 108 p. ;,24 cm.
Notes: Poems.
Contents: Almonds in bloom
Tender mercies
Cherry blossoms in spring
The fluffer talks of eternity
Landscape with sections of aqueduct
Useless landscape
Bidwell Park
The Kiwi comes to Gridley, CA
College City Market, College City, CA
Seven sketches for a landscape, unfinished
A brief history of internment
The bathers
Little boy blue
Dying in the development
Chicken
Bojangles
Dying in a Turkish bath
End of days
That's where they hide the silos
Panic in the year zero
Landscape with temple, mosque and little crosses
Landscape with combine
Quarantine
Release the sterile moths
Valley of the dolls
Landscape with figures partially erased
Homesickness
Bugcatching at twilight
Head out on the highway
Tarnished angel
Riverfront Park, Marysville, CA
Love hangover
Landscape with lymphatic system, system of rivulets, system of rivers
An elegy for my libido
Abandonment under the walnut tree
The price of funk in Funkytown
Traveling light
Outside Thermalito
The opening of the cosmos
One thousand and one nights
Funkytown : forgotten city of the plain
Notes of a native son
Donkey basketball diaries
A little less kettledrum, please
Narcissus
My life as a dog
A guide for boys
Boonies
Lessons in woodworking
Pupil
Elements of a cross-country runner
Magic kingdom come
Space junk
Sporting life
Dying in a fallow
Reaching around for you
Goodbye, my fancy
Hereafter
Midnight cowbell
Do the hustle
Once and future houseboy
Backdrop with splashes of cum on it
Transit of Mercury
Platelet count descending
Backstage pass
Having a rambutan with you
Summer of my bone density test
The great unrest
Orchard in January
Ode to joy
Missionary man
Mass for Pentecost : canticle for birds & waters.
Summary: "In D.A. Powell's fifth poetry book, the rollicking line he has made his signature becomes the taut, more discursive means to describing beauty, singing a dirge, directing an ironic smile, or questioning who in any given setting is the master and who is the pupil. This is a book that explores the darker side of divisions and developments, which shows how the interstitial spaces of boonies, backstage, bathhouse, or bar are locations of desire. With Powell's witty banter, emotional resolve, and powerful lyricism, this collection demonstrates his exhilarating range"--Dust jacket.
Awards & Distinctions: National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, 2012.
Local Note: 1 15 53 118 211
Alternate Title: Guide for boys
ISBN: 9781555976057
1555976050
Statement of Responsibility: D.A. Powell
Subject Headings: Poetry.
Topical Term: Poetry.
LCCN: 2011942041
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Jun 12, 2013
  • dpecsreads rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I thought this collection by D.A. Powell (which was highly lauded by NPR and the National Book Critics Circle) was a little inconsistent - there are some powerful poems here, and some that are unconventional in topic (the poem on 'fluffers' comes to mind first), but there are some that just fall flat.
The book is broken into two halves, as noted by the dual title of the collection; I think the "Useless Landscape" half of the text is a bit more cohesive (reminiscent of Campbell McGrath's "Capitalism" poems), and is marginally better than the second half, "A Guide for Boys."

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app08 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/23 09:41