From the back cover: "Inspired by nature in his thoughtful and plain-spoken poems, Rob Smith reminisces and reflects on life, death, and the passage of time in 256 Zones of Gray. He takes us 'Along the Shore,' and we see barren trees through his eyes when 'the sky threaded/ a blue ribbon between the trunks' and a postcard moment in 'Pirttsburgh' when 'colors sliding back into the rivers/ define the Point.' Smith's words often give us hope, a lighted window on the edge of color." -Laura Bentley, author of Lake Effect Poems
Robert gives an overview of the book:
I spit in the river like a boy,
but nobody saw me,
I made sure of that.
I was dry
after running across the field,
with lungs heaving
and mouth powdery.
It was like that, and I stopped
on the bridge to quench my thirst
by staring at the water.
So I spit.
It was white and chalky swirling
in black water 'til it caught
the current and was lost in the foam
over rocks and broken twigs.
I watched beyond what I saw,
and no one else saw or spoke except
a catbird on the railing.
I am a writer of both novels and poetry. The two are very different disciplines. In poetry, the ear and eye reach consensus, but with the novel, the characters can rise to stand even against the sensibilities of the writer. When this happens, there is no point in arguing....
"Rob Smith, author of two novels "Children of Light" and the futuristic moral fable "Night Voices," cuts closer to the bone in this winning collection of 7 stories and a novella, "McGowan's Call."
It is a satisfying ride of a novel reminding me, at times, of David Baldacci. Like a roller coaster ride, I want to read it again to catch all the nuances I may have missed the first time.