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Nancy Simpson's LIVING ABOVE THE FROST LINE, New and Selected Poems was published by Carolina Wren Press (N.C. Laureate Series, 2010.) She is the author of ACROSS WATER and NIGHT STUDENT, State Street Press, still available on WWW at Alibris and Books Again. Her poems have been published in Southern Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review and other literary magazines. "Carolina Bluebirds" was published in THE POETS GUIDE TO THE BIRDS, Anhinga Press). "Grass" was reprinted in the 50th Anniversary Issue of Southern Poetry Review: DON'T LEAVE HUNGRY ( U.of Arkansas Press.) Seven poems were reprinted in the textbook, SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN POETRY,(McFarland.) Two poems were published in SOLO CAFE, Two more poems were published in SOLO NOVO."In the Nantahala Gorge" was published in Pisgah Review. "Studying Winter" was reprinted in Pirene's Fountain Anthology and "The Collection" in Collecting Life Anthology. Most recently, Southern Poetry Review Edited by James Smith, published "Our Great Depression," and The Southern Poetry Anthology Vol. VII: NORTH CAROLINA,Edited by William Wright, reprinted "Leaving in the Dead of Winter."

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Poet of the Month Scott Owens on the Last Day of the Month - TWO POEMS


And this is the way
you play the game
the only way
        to win.
And this is the man
with the huge right hand
and the black shining boots
and the pounding gullet
who calls you boy
and tells you
you are nothing
        unless you win,
you are nothing
and stands above you
and stands before you
and draws a line
and tells you
whoever stands
across that line
is your enemy
         your enemy
and you must hit him
and you must beat him
        until he falls
and if he gets up
you must beat him again
and if he gets up
you must take him down.
And these are the hands
and these the feet
and this the body
you give up for the game.
And these are the cloths
you wear, these
the bold numbers, these
the bright colors, this
the iron mask.
And this is the map
that shows you the way
and these  the people
who cheer you on
and tell you to go
        And you go
to play the game
the only way
        to win.

by Scott Owens
from The Fractured World


One said dying slowly.
Another said living
and barely cracked a smile.
Many said extreme pain,
torture, in all its varieties:
burning, drowning, beating, crushing, starving,
cutting the body away in small pieces,
breaking down the mind bit by bit.
Others said insanity, loneliness, paralysis,
isolation, deprivation.
One said watching others
be tortured,
family, friends, total strangers.

In a dry white season
they tried to teach us
the reach of human cruelty--
a bloody face turned upward,
the body suspended by elbows,
electrodes on nose, nipples, testicles.
A young guard walked in,
unsuspecting, unknowing.

Imagine having to live
with the knowledge.
Imagine how he sees people now
from the corners of his eyes,
how he hurries home each day,
squeezes the handle,
cracks the door.
Imagine how he holds his wife,
his children,
afraid of what his own hands might do.

by Scott Owens
from The Fractured World

Owens, Scott. The Persistence of Faith. Charlotte: Sandstone, 1994.
Owens, Scott. Deceptively Like a Sound. Winston-Salem: Dead Mule, 2008. http://www.deadmule.com/poetry/2008/04/scott-owens-deceptively-like-a-sound-a-chapbook/
Owens, Scott. The Fractured World. Charlotte: Main Street Rag, 2008.
Owens, Scott. The Book of Days. Winston-Salem: Dead Mule, 2009. http://www.deadmule.com/poetry/2009/01/scott-owens-book-of-days-a-chapbook/
Owens, Scott. Paternity. Charlotte: Main Street Rag, 2010.
Owens, Scott. The Nature of Attraction. Main Street Rag, 2010.
Owens, Scott. Something Knows the Moment. Main Street Rag, 2011.

Order books or contact the poet: 

Read the blog of Scott Owens - MUSINGS.
Read and submit poems to Wild Goose Poetry Review, the on line literary magazine he edits.
Read and submit essays to 234 Journal edited by Scott Owens.

1 comment:

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

I'm glad you've selected Scott as poet of the month. He is one of my favorite poets.