Child Made of Sand: Poems

by Thomas Lux

In Child Made of Sand, Kingsley Tufts–winner Thomas Lux demonstrates a restless energy to explore new territory while confirming his place in the pantheon of contemporary American poetry.

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN-13/ EAN: 9780547581019
  • ISBN-10: 0547581017
  • Pages: 96
  • Publication Date: 11/27/2012
  • Carton Quantity: 1

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About the Author
  • About the Book

    Reader’s familiar with Thomas Lux’s quick-witted images ("Language without simile is like a lung/ without air") and his rambunctious, Cirque-Du-Soleil-like imagination ("The Under-Appreciated Pontooniers") will find in his new collection, Child Made of Sand, not only the signature funny, provocative, and poignant super-surrealism that has made him, along with Charles Simic, James Tate, and Dean Young, one of America’s most inventive and humane poets, but they will also find in a surprising series of homages, elegies, rants, and autobiographical poems a new register of language in which time and mortality echo and reverberate in quieter notes. In "West Shining Tree," we can hear this shift in register when he asks: "I’ll head dead West and ask of all I see:/ Which is the way, the long or the short way,/ to the West Shining Tree?"


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  • Excerpts

    The Moths Who Come in the Night to Drink Our Tears

    always leave quenched,
    though they’re drinking,
    in composition, seawater,
    which does not make them insane
    as it does parched humans when
    we drink it, even
    with our big, big bodies.
    If you knew
    a leper’s tears do not contain
    the bacillus leprae,
    would you let him weep on your chest?
    Let the moths come, let the sandwoman and -man come,
    let Morpheus and Dreamadum come
    unto me, and my beloveds,
    let the moths come
    and drink of the disburdening waters.


    —César Vallejo, Arago Clinic, Paris, Holy Friday,
      April 15, 1938

    It was you, César, they killed to the base of your forefinger, you.
    Certainly they shot Pedro Rojas too.
    No doubt Juana Vásquez was killed.
    The killers, poor also, were skilled.
    And Emilio, they shot him in the back of the neck
    after they made him kneel amid the wreck
    of his grandmother’s house—they beat
    but did not kill her. The people, their hands and feet
    (A cripple sleeps with his foot on his shoulder.
    Shall I later talk about Picasso, of all people?),
    these are the people you wrote for, César,
    though your later poems, no longer lighted by the laser
    of your homeland, of Heraldos Negros or Trilce, were
    real enough for exile but not as true, licit.
    Socialist realism, the aesthetic was called,
    poetry force-marched—to diminish, equally, all.
    It was not right for your mind and betrayed your heart.
    Your countrymen and -women should bring you home, César.
    Entombed in France is good enough for some,
    but Peru should bring Peru’s great poet home.


    Jebus don’t love me, oh.
    Oh Jebus don’t love me, no.
    He never because I too slow.

    The moon do love me, but it fall,
    plash, way there in ocean
    where I see them small
    fishes who be, who be a ton

    of teeth in my big eyes. So,
    Jebus, let this tiny haminal go,
    because I don’t love you neither, no.


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