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Fear of Moving Water
Fear of Moving Water
$15.00
Paperback
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BOOK DETAILS

  • Paperback
  • Sep.11.2009
  • 9781936138029
  • Wind Publications

Alex gives an overview of the book:

   "Fear of Moving Water" was a 2010 runner-up for the Brockman Campell Prize(Best North Carolina Poetry Collection) and the Oscar Arnold Young Award(Best Collection by a  North Carolina Poet.)   http://www.windpub.com/books/movingwater.htm  "I've always believed that poetry depends on two truths: the probity of mystery versus obscurity, and the musical resonance of words within the poetic line or  phrase. Alex Grant probes a menagerie of mystery in these poems, and among the younger poets I've encountered, he is more finely attuned to the music of poetry than most. He is a poet to be reckoned with, and he is worth every nuance of the serious reader's reckoning. This is a book that compels our reading, and our re-reading." --Martin Lammon, Arts & Letters editor       “Alex Grant is a fabulist who spins language acrobatically into...
Read full overview »

 

 "Fear of Moving Water" was a 2010 runner-up for the Brockman Campell Prize(Best North Carolina Poetry Collection) and the Oscar Arnold Young Award(Best Collection by a  North Carolina Poet.)  

http://www.windpub.com/books/movingwater.htm

 "I've always believed that poetry depends on two truths: the probity of

mystery versus obscurity, and the musical resonance of words within

the poetic line or  phrase. Alex Grant probes a menagerie of mystery

in these poems, and among the younger poets I've encountered, he is

more finely attuned to the music of poetry than most. He is a poet to

be reckoned with, and he is worth every nuance of the serious reader's

reckoning. This is a book that compels our reading, and our re-reading."

--Martin Lammon, Arts & Letters editor

 

 

 

“Alex Grant is a fabulist who spins language acrobatically into tales,

tales into music, music into myth. Reading him(preferably aloud)

is pure pleasure for the imagination, the mouth and the mind”.

 

-          Susan Ludvigson, SC Hall of Fame inductee.

 

 

 

“If you value linguistic fluency, the flow of the English language along

the warp of syntax, the weaving of image and rhythm into a tapestry

of sound, you will find yourself immersed in Fear of Moving Water.

Alex Grant brings his keen sense of language to every poem and

he writes unashamedly out of the sheer pleasure of that language.

Where does a poem's sense of place begin?  In the naming of things.

Grant names the world in all its multitudinous glories and terrors. 

Reading his poems kindles our desire to live again in that world”. 

- Kathryn Stripling Byer, NC Poet Laureate & author of Coming to Rest

“These historically savvy, philosophically ambitious poems
  demonstrate as much linguistic and syntactical dexterity
  as they do an expansive literary mind at work. Alex Grant
  casts his visionary net far and wide, capturing the dark
  and shimmering...”

-Dorianne Laux, author of Facts About the Moon: Poems

Read an excerpt »

argentina’s huge beaver problem

 

Giant Beavers Flood Land of Fire – Reuter’s

 

Whether this title relates to outsized rodents

or some enormous beaveresque conundrum

 

withers if you know that in Tierra Del Fuego

they pay a dollar a tail, a gnawing diminution

 

of this “large aquatic rodent of the genus Castor”

(fathered by Zeus in the form of a swan - born

 

from an egg with Pollux, his twin -- protectors  

of sailors, whose brotherly love flickers nightly

 

in the constellation Gemini, under whose white

stars gauchos tote their boleadoras, beef-hooves

 

waiting for entanglement – spindly fore-legs

propping up mounds of meat in this bloody

 

menagerie – etymology old French ménage

add in à trois and we’re back to the beaver.)

 

At The End of the World, the Pampas

are flooding – the Paranà river gushing 

 

over cut-banks of Lenga and Guindo -

oceans pouring into oceans, flat-land

 

inundation in the mouth of black water,

ground down by the smallest white teeth.

 

 

 

Neruda’s suicide note

 

  - In memory of Spalding Gray

 

 

They say nothing ever changes

but your point of view.

Nothing – “some thing

that has no existence”

this makes no sense.

I sit in the catacumbas

and listen to the rain

pound the papaya leaves -

my skin like confetti,

my heart a cheap lottery.

 

I have seen the tiger’s stripes – 

they live between

the fine linen sheets

of an office-girl’s bed,

in the afternoon fumblings

of someone who is no-one,

with a heart bursting

like a red balloon

on a tap – the pieces fly

in all directions, you cover

your face with your hand,

and it sticks to your skin

like confetti, like phosphorus

launched from a Greek warship,

like the skin of a plum

peeled by a broken nail.

 

 

 

 

giant

 

 

I read once that garden midges only live for around

ten minutes, and as I watched a swarm of them, I picked

one out, kept my eyes fixed on him, lit a cigarette, and tried

to imagine his life. I did the math, and decided that eight

midge seconds equaled one of our years, and as he moved

from the top to the bottom of the cloud, he had two affairs

and a nervous breakdown right there. He spiraled up again,

and by the time he’d reached the top, he’d sent all seventeen-

hundred of his children to a fashionable private swarm in the

upper reaches of a more desirable neighboring tree. He’d

gained a little weight by now, and couldn’t fly quite as fast

as he used to, but he compensated by quietly negotiating

his own private air-space, and by employing some of the

younger midges to bite people for him. By the time my

cigarette had burned less than half-way down, he’d written

a number  of wildly successful self-help flying manuals,

as well as his acclaimed study of midge relationships –

‘Female midges are from the eastern boughs, male midges

are from the western.’ He’d had liposuction and wing implants

by this time, and was campaigning tirelessly to have the trashy

cloud in the next tree publicly censured. His therapist advised

him to adopt a lower public profile, but he was insistent that

he alone had secured the swarm’s tenure of the tree, and that

the other midges ought to damn-well recognize his contribution

and reward him accordingly. He died three quarters of the way

into my cigarette, convinced that the rest of the swarm

were plotting to run him down with a golf-cart.

 

      He was truly a giant among midges.

 

 

 

 

         _________________________________________________________  

They were fishing the bodies out for days – bloated curds of humanity.

The salt had turned most of them white. Random immensity of the world.

Scientists now claim there’s a universe closer to your skin than the clothes

you wear – this may explain why you feel like someone else is in the room.

And time never was a straight line - it bends like a piece of elbow spaghetti –

               the big noodle, cosmic boomerang, good old time.

__________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

His holiness the abbot

is shitting in the withered fields

 

after Buson

 

The mortal frame, the Haiku Masters hold,

is made up of one hundred bones

and nine orifices.

 

The mind this frame contains can be used,

or not used, to make the poem,

or become the poem.

 

Becoming is accomplished without thought,

making requires the application

of intent and will.

 

All change comes from objects in motion.

To capture the thing at rest, you

must be moving.

 

So, 7 days bereaved, Issa made his father’s

death poem: “A bath when you’re born,

a bath when you die – how stupid.”

                                                                                                                

Grief is a silk neckerchief covering a burn

around the throat, holding sound

down in the body.

 

And so we make these sounds without

thought – the heretic body burns,

intends, and moves.

 

 

alex-grant's picture

Ten years in the making, this collection includes many prize-winning poems.

About Alex

 Alex Grant's Chains & Mirrors  won the 2007 Oscar Arnold Young Award(Best North Carolina poetry collection) and the 2006 Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize. Fear of Moving Water, his 2009...

Read full bio »

Published Reviews

Jun.13.2008

It’s easy to see why Alex Grant’s chapbook Chains & Mirrors won both the 2006 Randall Jarrell/Harperprints Poetry Contest and the 2007 Oscar Arnold Young Award (for best book by a North Carolina poet...

Jun.13.2008

Alex Grant is a native Scot currently living in North Carolina. His manuscript, Chains & Mirrors, won the 2006 Randell Jarrell/Harperprints poetry contest and was recently awarded the Oscar Arnold...

Author's Publishing Notes

To be published by September 11th.