"Here is how to hand a glass deer a beetle." from "Glass Deer."
Oh, this guy and his poems. The newly released Scared Text is Eric Baus's third book and maybe my favorite and I can't even begin to speak about it. It is full of lines like this, lines that seem to make such perfect sense to themselves. "Oh," I think, "so that's how you hand a glass deer a beetle. I need to remember this."
The poems themselves feel matter of fact, so poised in their delivery, even when they are depicting moments of miniature, impossible violence:
There are several kings in a single fox. They haunt one another's brows. They hunt their brains for a broken stinger. A crown of hornets fleeces their phlox.from "Hornet Fleece." I like the way "hunt" echoes "haunt" here. It makes me think the voice is mis-hearing or mis-reporting something, but doing it with confidence. That confidence helps make the all the fantastic action here seem plausible and even likely, which is pretty magical.
Baus and I actually went to the same high school, not at the same time, but we had the same teachers, both experienced the passionate maelstrom of Mr. Rusk's English class. How nice to know that our town can give birth to such, I don't know, difference, maybe. It is more than a little inspiring to me.