On Marriage

Bruce Beasley

I.Wind’s the medium of air.
It says what in the air’s
stasis we’d never hear.
In the sibilation of its leaving
it says what air would say
(the kinesis of that silence)
if stationary atmosphere
could scrape, stridulous,
itself against its unmoving self.
                                        II.Wind’s air
that sensed a near
hollow in the pressureand poured
toward that rising stratum
to hold it fast: a depressionin the balance
of things it had to changeitself to fill.
                                        III.Still air’s
wind that had its way, inrushed, unemptied
what was left, then settled
into the lull it was, its
constituent quiescence:immotive, as if straining
not to quiver toward each new
instability of heat along the edges—
the still of its want; the want
motivating all its still.

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Bruce  Beasley

Bruce Beasley is the author of seven previous collections of poetry, including Theophobia (BOA, 2012). The winner of numerous literary awards, including the Colorado Prize in Poetry, the Ohio State University Press/Journal Award, the University of Georgia Press Contemporary Poetry Award, and three Pushcart Prizes, he is also the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Artist Trust of Washington. A native of Macon, Georgia, he now lives in Bellingham, Washington, where he is a professor of English at Western Washington University.

When the Gnostic Gospels collide with new age spiritualism, the Oxford Happiness Test, and treatises on Buddhist practice, we know we’re in the territory of a Bruce Beasley collection. Known for his intense and continuing soul-quest through previous award-winning books, Beasley interrogates the absurdities and spiritual condition of twenty-first century America with despair, philosophic intelligence, and piercing humor.

All Soul Parts Returned is a dynamic catechism-in-progress, laden with prayers, addresses, and meditations on God’s ‘pouring-apart of opposites.’ Bruce Beasley reminds us that to ‘come apart’ or ‘go missing’ is not necessarily to be lost, and his lyrics struggle movingly with limitation and loss, with familial bonds and inheritance, and with the way we can neither fully hide in nor emerge from our vocabularies.”
—Mary Szybist

“Like Robert Duncan, who was also powerfully drawn to Gnostic and Hermetic thought, Beasley’s reading in mysticism has, above all, animated his lyrical acuity. He draws from these traditions not merely for their substance but also to enhance his musical chops. And when he displays those chops, the results can be majestic . . . a fluency and rhetorical control that no other poet of his generation can match.”
Kenyon Review

“There is a tidal force at work in these poems. They rush toward the reader with frenetic intensity, then slowly recede, leaving us drenched in language that is working at its highest level, language riding meaning the way foam crests a wave.”
The Rumpus

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