380 Chapters
Medium 9781574415643

You're in the Picture

Stefanie Wortman University of Northern Texas PDF
Medium 9781574413090

III. Involution

Caki Wilkinson University of North Texas Press PDF
Medium 9781574415643

Dance of Death

Stefanie Wortman University of Northern Texas PDF


What would they want? Surely not this sappy ballad, this slide-show parade of flowers on display. It was a Friday afternoon in April, at the memorial for students who had died, and one of mine, suicide in early spring, was on the screen.

Then came the headshot of a student I forgot between crocus-in-snow and peony/rainbow.

Both men young, but one was withdrawn, the other a know-it-all. As a voice tolled out the proper nouns, elsewhere in town the kids were already ramping up their party with weekend death, contemporary sketches of Hans Holbein: a skeleton holding the beer bong, a skeleton popping the tire of his parents’ old car on a curb, a skeleton puking his missing guts into the tulip bed.

I’ve always said I wasn’t afraid of death, but still they want you to get the transplant or the breathing device or whatever else will keep you alive and whoever loves you happy. The dance goes on, the best and worst of us, all will be replaced, and if you believe everything they say, this very minute a sucker is born.

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Medium 9781574415049

Praise for Previous Winners of the Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry

Matt Miller University of North Texas Press PDF

Praise for Previous Winners of the Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry

Circles Where the Head Should Be, by Caki Wilkinson

“Playful and soulful, buoyant and mordant, snazzy and savvy—Caki Wilkinson’s poems pull out all the stops, and revel in making the old mother tongue sound like a bright young thing. Lend her your ears and you’ll hear American lyric moxie in all its abounding gusto and lapidary glory, making itself new all over again.”

—David Barber, Poetry Editor, The Atlantic

“Circles Where the Head Should Be has its own distinctive voice, a lively intelligence, insatiable curiosity, and a decided command of form. These qualities play off one another in ways that instruct and delight. An irresistible book.”

—J. D. McClatchy, author of Mercury Dressing: Poems, judge

“Caki Wilkinson’s marvelous and marvelously titled Circles Where the Head

Should Be contains poetry as dexterously written as any today. And beneath its intricate surface pleasures lie a fierce intelligence and a relentless imagination constantly discovering connections where none had been seen before.

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Medium 9780253022790

Happy Little Cripple, The

James Whitcomb Riley Indiana University Press ePub

I’M thist a little cripple boy, an’ never goin’ to grow

An’ get a great big man at all!—’cause Aunty told me so.

When I was thist a baby onc’t, I falled out of the bed

An’ got “The Curv’ture of the Spine”—’at’s what the Doctor said.

I never had no Mother nen—fer my Pa runned away

An’ dassn’t come back here no more—’cause he was drunk one day

An’ stobbed a man in thish-ere town, an’ couldn’t pay his fine!

An’ nen my Ma she died—an’ I got “Curv’ture of the Spine!”

I’m nine years old! An’ you can’t guess how much I weigh, I bet!—

Last birthday I weighed thirty-three!—An’ I weigh thirty yet!

I’m awful little fer my size—I’m purt’ nigh littler ’nan

Some babies is!—an’ neighbers all calls me “The Little Man!”

An’ Doc one time he laughed an’ said: “I ’spect, first thing you know,

You’ll have a little spike-tail coat an’ travel with a show!”

An’ nen I laughed—till I looked round an’ Aunty was a-cryin’—

Sometimes she acts like that, ’cause I got “Curv’ture of the Spine.”

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