Dynamite by Anders Carlson-Wee

I picked this chapbook up at the AWP Conference a couple weeks ago and couldn't wait to get into it.  I heard Anders read at one of the panels.  His poems distill very ordinary, rural moments into powerful poetry.  His voice is extremely strong. I'm excerpting a few pieces below to give you a taste, but it's the poems in their entirety that take the breath away.  You can find several full poems online.  Or do yourself a favor and buy here.

 

From "Northern Corn"

Traveling alone through Minnesota / as the corn comes in.  Steel silos filling / to the brim.  Black trees leaning / off the south sides of hills as the cold light / falls slantwise against the gristmills. / You have allowed another year to pass. / You have learned very little. / But that little is what you are throwing / in the furnace.

 

From "The Low Passions"

The Lord came down because God wasn't enough. / He lies on sodden cardboard behind bushes / in the churchyard.  Wrapped in faded red.  A sleeping bag / he found or traded for.  Dark stains like clouds / before a downpour.  The stone wall beside him rising, / always rising, the edges of stone going blunt / where the choirboy climbs.  He opens his mouth, / but nothing goes in and nothing comes out.