February 10, 2018

New PDF release: Alluvial cities

By Christopher M. Hannan

ISBN-10: 1680030221

ISBN-13: 9781680030228

The poems in Alluvial towns are drawn from this layered landscape's geology and background, its humans and language, and the kindred ties among earth and water, flesh and blood.

The waters broke from the void prior to first light,
a divinity ripping during the trembling flesh
of marshes and the levees’ previous clay thighs,
protecting each mile of St. Bernard Parish.
homes with their cement slabs have floated
mild because the rinds of watermelons you ate as a boy
and chucked into Lake Catherine, swelled to overflowing
by way of the god that surged into the Rigolets estuary
and left an afterbirth of candy crude leaked
from foundered tanks.  vehicles dangle like carrion
birds at the maximum branches and torn roofs.  Leached
of dust and flood waters, the homes we move cry out
damaged window panes, duct-taped refrigerators, and a stillness
that leaves us at the useless grass of this
woman’s domestic, like such a lot of thrown bones.

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Extra resources for Alluvial cities

Sample text

Gulf water forced itself into the marsh and broke grass ridges like a rutting drunk. Chalmette and all of St. Bernard had eight feet in the streets, no levees to keep back those salty tides. My wife can taste them in her tears while the boys splash in what was our kitchen. No one thought that new canal would ruin us. I walk down the street to Pete’s place; he squats out front while his wife wails to God. This is how St. Joseph would have felt at the cross, no way to understand or make things better.

All the characters whose stories were told over and over again by Leadbelly, Professor Longhair, and a myriad of others were simply reincarnations of the archetypes sung by Homer, Pindar, and Hesiod. In the Hymns I have tried to connect ancient myth with these modern mythologies in poems that approximate the basic meters and rhyme schemes of the original songs. The use of song forms is meant to mimic the ancient tradition of adhering to established poetic/rhythmic forms while simultaneously reinterpreting well-known myths.

What’s in the tusks that’s not in wisdom teeth that keeps men from finding roads through death, where elephants walk macadams of bone? Perhaps the memory weighs down our skulls, too hard for human bone and fearful eyes. The gums of death, our teeth cannot cut through. THE MINOANS OF ANGOLA After two days of rain the earth turns to mud, the clay kind that sticks to you like sinews to bone or the ribs they sell in stalls outside the gates. Its hard to grip this lathered ground that ripples in folds of brown and red like the shoulders and flanks of bulls.

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Alluvial cities by Christopher M. Hannan

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