Mary Adams, Prof. of English at WCU, is one of the most gifted poets writing today. Her chapbook COMMANDMENT in the Laureate Chapbook Series from Spring Street Editions, in collaboration with Ash Creek Press in Portland, Oregon, is a stunning piece of work, recently praised in a full page letter by former NC Poet Laureate Fred Chappell. Mr. Chappell notes the formal brilliance of the poems, the way each poem is intelligently crafted so that certain tropes echo throughout the poem.
Adams studied with Jorie Graham at the U. of Iowa and with Adam Zagajewski at the U. of Houston's PhD writing program. She received an NEA fellowship a few years back. Her first book, Epistles from the Planet Photosynthesis
, was published in the U. of Florida Poetry Series.
Here is the first poem in her new book.
He dreamed he wanted all her wilderness.
She dreamed his smell of saffron and clean halls.
He dreamed about the souls of animals.
Her animals were tired of being wild.
Her house blew up. It oozed when he entered there.
He cherished her, but he was made of walls.
Her longing sang him in a foreign language.
He could not dress or slake her loneliness.
He wished she saw how everything hed had
swallowed everything hed thought he wanted.
She wished he knew she longed to be devoured.
He dreamed about the house he dreamed before.
She dreamed her body in which no one dreamed.
She tasted him recede, a ghost of salt.
She dreamed but it did no good.
His children throbbed in walls that compassed once
his world as perfect as the gusts of birds
he used to dream she winnowed in like song.
She gathered him as if he were not gone.
The book may be ordered from City Lights bookstore, www.citylightsnc.com