by C. D. Wright


by C. D. Wright


Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Tuesday, February 7


“Wright has found a way to wed fragments of an iconic America to a luminously strange idiom, eerie as a tin whistle.” —The New Yorker

“Wright gets better with each book, expanding the reach of her art; it seems it could take in anything.” —Publishers Weekly

“These poems are so perfect they appear to have been cut from optical glass with very sharp knives; the poet’s eye moves over the treacherous landscape of the soul like a lunar eye, measuring seasons, marking time, setting houses and bodies on fire.” —Rikki Ducornet

In ShallCross, C. D. Wright brings together brief, striking poems in tandem with the longer, unrelenting forms for which she has become recognized and beloved. Pushing the boundaries of genre, language, and poetic populism, ShallCross showcases Wright’s singular voice that navigates a rigorous space between journalistic activism, stunning narrative, sociopolitical outrage, and erotic lyricism. This dazzling collection is further evidence that Wright was among our most thrilling and innovative contemporary poets.

. . . You are still young enough
To adopt a xolo
Write an opera on glass
Bed a chimera
Bedazzle and be devoured
The moonroof in your head
Slowly sliding open
To the scent of oleander

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781556595431
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Publication date: 09/11/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 884,184
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

C.D. Wright was born and raised in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. She has published over a dozen collections of poetry, most recently One With Others (Copper Canyon Press, 2011). She has received numerous awards including a MacArthur Fellowship and taught for many years at Brown University.

Read an Excerpt

Shall Cross (excerpted) We are walking along a curve Observed by the hawk Completing the arc For us but not by us Responding to the gravity Of the bend as we climb Toward a jagged ridge Pages fluttered by the softest Wind as wind slips through The folding door Of a listing phone booth Across the drawbridge A store called Her Hands A club called His Room An out of date flier for A free seminar for the heart Angelica is rampant Egrets flock the treetops The day wears itself away Against the barbed fencing A barge goes quietly off course Cars are sparser now Crows are everywhere Getting bigger louder closer In a well-kept farmhouse A lid slams down On a pounded piano As the words sink into me You are still young enough To adopt a xolo Write an opera on glass Bed a chimera Bedazzle and be devoured The moonroof in your head Slowly sliding open To the scent of oleander The bad gushing out of you Things in plain sight things hidden It doesn't make any difference If I could buffer my fall Not with my body but my breath Maybe stay awake for The appearance of a small angel Clear frozen beautiful Like someone from Chicago Living ocular proof Of an immense force swooping Swiftly downward to cool The coils within coils Having missed the free seminar By several decades now Even the namer of clouds is gone So whatever I thought Was tender or true Left my face a network Of hatchmarks from a mother Lost in the exclusion zone Father felled from the feet up Son whose brown eyes Are both sharper and softer Than either of ours An impossible child No one could break or resist Who has begun to beat his own Diamondback path To the edge of his field To the edge of his life As the big clouds are rolling in I try to herd the worst feelings I ever felt the worst thoughts The very worst under one Warped sheet of metal A non-believer dropped to A pair of knobby knees Every other thing reminds me Of you eve a tempura By a seven-year-old From Down Under titled The Driver Sits In The Shade But What About The Horse It was something you might Have said to a family waiting For a taxi to the historic district Or a gondola to take them Off of the mountain Even a milk glass Of field flowers sensed You entering the room Before you dropped me off On a Lower East Side curb With my rolling bags of grief And pretty sheer brassieres It's starting to seem as if everyone Were already dead And looking for my glasses While Vic plunks out Buckets Of Rain to a smoke-soaked Roadhouse of rubes My disappointment sits Under the Tree of Disappointment In a dirty skirt in a ruff Of dirt the color of dirt If a hand and it could be my hand Moves over the bark it touches Where an arrow passed through the trunk The mind wills it into reverse That the shaft of the arrow glide Soundlessly backward And the hand it could be your hand Soothes the welt left by its entry The air turns the blue of a seldom worn Dress left in a closet by the woman Who opened a notebook To what must have been your hand TI looked like you striking Script of course it was your hand That wrote she doesn't get it I was never there Of my own volition I would have never asked The grass is strong unlike her The water unperturbedly furled The Ladder Tree leans toward me And then swings out of reach The ache that will last the rest OF our lives stiffens into those words The Tree of Knowledge Tries to draw off the poison Without destroying itself Now who will make the record of us The Tree of Knowledge Tries to draw off the poison Without destroying itself Now who will make the record of us Who will be the author Of our blind and bilious hours Of the silken ear of our years Who will distinguish our dandruff From the rest among the gusts of history Who will turn our maudlin concerns Into moments of incandescence Who remember when I was a dirty blond That hung like a mare's mane A blond with an even dirtier mouth And a pent-up anatomy Your shoe trailing on the ground Moving gracefully round me Trying to stir up the hard pan So thirsty and hot Who fill us with the tingle Of animation and of wonder Who be there glistening With sweat and forgiveness Once the stall has been mucked And re-mucked The Tree That Owns Itself appears Sickly but still blossoms In Vic's home town along with The eight feet of earth around it Which is not enough Sedated to hopefully endure The dozers and cranes When the word turbine wanes I can hear a bee entering a quince A shoot of bamboo piercing The skin of the earth A black ant climbing a stem The sound of raw umber Distinct from burnt The sound of still water The sound of a towel Drifting to the ground The sound of you rubbing Oil on someone else's limbs It is so patently stupid to stick By a one-stoplight town dream To love and be loved to the end Without rut or recrimination Como una estupida pelicula We saw at an outdoor theater In Guerrero standing up From previews to credits In a warm downpour Then I see the quivery Shadow of my stricken self Left on a traffic island At the noisiest intersection In Buenos Aires Drowning in the decibels I don't want you to count The conks on my trunk Under the Tree of Conjugal Love How this feels to be diminished By one the one mistaken For the one who would usher Us away from the Tree Of Failure and Shame Beyond the Tree of Deceit Unfulfillment and illusion Into the limbic woods Of subtle adults-only stuff

Customer Reviews