Kamby Bolongo Mean River named one of 25 Important Books of the 2000s by HTML Giant

KBMR was named one of 25 Important Books of the decade by HTML Giant. And was a Page One selection of New & Noteworthy Books by Poets & Writers Magazine.

Monday, January 9, 2012

No news today - Guest Post - Iain Haley Pollock

Snow in Wartime

It's warm for Syracuse in deep December--
but still cold enough for snow, snow made
light and fat by a sweep over Lake Ontario,
the flakes like down from a split pillow.
We're walking on the western shore of Onondaga,
hand in hand, the few towers on the skyline
visible through spare trees. The path runs
between dense beds of common reeds--
invading marshy ground around the lake--
and tumbledown docks of ruined resort hotels.

Before the snow I was thinking what a rabbit
punch, this month. Painkillers and chemotherapy
thinning your uncle's voice. Granddad gone
a second winter, again no Lancashire hullo.
Our friend's pickup rolled off an icy road--
his neck snapped. The list of more boys,
from whistle-stop towns in Texas, Pennsylvania,
Ohio, dead. Car bombs in Baghdad
and Kufa ending six-dozen unnamed lives.

But while the lake effect falls, I stop worrying
about illness and accidents and war, and stand
with you to watch the slow drift. Years from now,
we'll forget that I hardly talked with you,
that Mack trucks growled nearby, that death
choked at our thoughts. I'll remind you then--
faced with dope-addicted daughter
or father's congestive collapse--that once
there was a lake where we walked together,
fingers intertwined, the sky hushed to snow.

Iain Haley Pollock lives in Philadelphia and teaches English at Springside-Chestnut Hill Academy. His first collection of poems, SPIT BACK A BOY (University of Georgia, 2011), won the 2010 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Elizabeth Alexander, President Obama's inaugural poet, selected the manuscript for the prize. Pollock earned a bachelor's degree in English from Haverford College and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Syracuse University. He is a Cave Canem Fellow.

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