Literary Hub Poem of the Week

May 13, 2015  By D.A. Powell

D.A. Powell has emerged as our most sophisticated poetic technician of the erotic. And while readers are ever keen to how he assaults and updates the pastoral tradition, how he tenderly folds and somersaults across the open field of the page, it has always been Powell’s zestfully demonic word play that has been most captivating. Few contemporary poets remind us how embodied words are in their uncanny arrangements, their clumsy perfection to undress, wound and sometimes even heal.                

—Adam Fitzgerald, Poetry Editor





The golden era was a bust. He was a food runner, not the naked Adonis fisherman at the lake     house but the bringer of tartar sauce.

Sloppy boppy with a faghag & the boys we tussled over like fries and battered cod left cold on a     plate brought back to the kitchen.

Jesus swept. Bobby got to clean the grease traps. Mickey or Rickey [we’d dropped the consonant     at least once; added an “h” at least twice]

was always on call, but…eh. Who wanted to pick up a phone? Now it’s all done that way. Some     people only ever meet by phone.


Time passes quickly or not at all. Saw that you called. If I could leap through time I’d go back to     sleep, but not with me. He be too easy.

There’s too many pronouns in this poem. Drop a few men. The now is always better than the     then. That’s why I don’t pick up old friend.

D.A. Powell
D.A. Powell
D. A. Powell's books include Repast (Graywolf, 2014) and Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys (Graywolf, 2012). He teaches at University of San Francisco.

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