Blood Will Tell by Craig Paulenich
|Blood Will Tell||Craig Paulenich||BlazeVOX [books]|
Out of the Blakean-like forges of the imagination in Book of Urizen, comes Paulenich's Blood Will Tell. From the invocation in "Love of Iron and Fire," "[m]ay my tenses be perfect, my participles past,” the poet strives for, and beautifully achieves, "words familiar as workboot creases, / words for the love of iron and fire." The poet forges each poem from the ore and slag of the human heart. Poems such as "Hiawatha and Hardhat" take their settings from the hellish National Malleable, where "the men eat sand, each breath sparkles with silica." Some poems, like "Biggart Family Reunion," extend outward to generations of workers and families, evoke how heroisms and hardships have defined their lives. Still others, such as "Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company, Night View, Campbell Works" and "Floating Labor Pool," explore the aftermath of this way of life, where only rivers remain, "serene / as in a fairly tale or horror story." Paulenich's achievement in Blood Will Tell is far more than a steely romanticism of labor itself. The collection moves, poem by poem, not only to explore the vanishing landscape of company houses and mill works in our nation’s rust belt, but to remember those who made families there, made lives--and made steel. Put your hardhat on. Read these poems as you would James Agee's and Walker Evans’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Read them. Each poem, every word sputters aflame with iron truth.
—Wendell Mayo, author of B. Horror and Other Stories
These intriguing poems are pointed, evocative, sometimes elusive, and they do not readily surrender their mysteries to paraphrase. This book is a fresh take on the shamanic in a toxically industrial age and I recommend it to anyone not satisfied by easy answers to the difficult questions raised by such a convergence.
—William Pitt Root, author of The Storm and Other Poems and White Boots: New and Selected Poems of the West
These are shrewd meditations on what remains in the cold shadow of the American rust belt.
—Dorothy Barresi, author of The Post-Rapture Diner and Rouge Pulp
Craig Paulenich is the author of two books of poetry, Drift of the Hunt (Nobodaddies Press, 2006) and was co-editor (with Kent Johnson) of the anthology Beneath A Single Moon: Buddhism and Contemporary American Poetry. He's an associate professor of English at Kent State University, and faculty with the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program (NEOMFA).
· Paperback: 83 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 9781935402336