Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Crow

Dennis Lucas

Dennis Lucas' poems are portrait-parables, his connect-the-dots, vernacular style outlining his crazy subjects, his pilgrims on the road to nowhere. Each poem forms a kind of event-horizon: "I saw three crows / standing in tall grass / hiding from the highway / as if it were / a wanted poster of them." Lucas projects himself into these poems as an everyman who can see around corners. Each person he meets seems like an actor on the verge of stepping out of his role: "I pulled up / and parked in / the employee of the month / parking space / but a guard / came out / and immediately told me to / get the hell out / before there / was any trouble." Conflict haunts these poems, but the reader adjusts to it as to a familiar song played in a strange key: "The river is moving. / The black-bird must by flying." "The kite is stealing groceries. The crow must be at the movies."

 

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