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Red suburb : poems /
by Greg Hewett.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
Minneapolis, MN : Coffee House Press, 2002.
description
93 p.
ISBN
1566891299 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
Subjects
More Details
author
imprint
Minneapolis, MN : Coffee House Press, 2002.
isbn
1566891299 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
4685400
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Minnesota Book Awards, USA, 2003 : Nominated
Publishing Triangle Awards, USA, 2003 : Won
First Chapter

CUL-DE-SAC

· The Distance to Birth ·

Sometimes I really kill myself, for instance when I find myself surprised over my own passing youth like I've just uncovered the gold face of some big-deal boy pharaoh in the sand. Through dust orbiting in a particularly celestial tunnel of sunlight I look out on the park at a boy as ancient as men get and see he's unshaken by the breaking news. He knew he was old when I was born, he knew men now petrified in busts and those who died simply unnoticed, he knows October roses well, how their dark perfumes color the rising breeze and still he plays with the dawn-red leaves that circle him as he progresses toward a shadow blue and certain as the distance to birth. · Nobody ·

It's easy being nobody when you're born without a body. To make sure this miracle was true I let acetylene fever burn my pale image on the sheet, but they put me on ice as if to show I was real flesh and bone, their little ham I suppose. Before I was even three my muscle-bound uncles made me ape Charles Atlas on the beach. They took pictures to verify a body that wasn't and laughed as I made muscles of nothing. Diseases wouldn't manifest in me. While my siblings got leopard spots with measles and chicken pox and looked like greedy rodents with mumps, I had no symptoms, earning ginger ale with sympathetic pain. Adolescence I simply refused. If my arms and legs, my stomach, even my appendix didn't exist, then my penis, no matter how boldly it grew in my mind, remained untouchable. When my father taught me to shave I bled for special effect. And when they fitted me for a suit, in the tailor's three-paneled mirror stood the reflection of a shirt going about his business. To myself I remained utterly discrete, a mere hieroglyph standing for man . · Glass Box ·

Growing up in an invisible house I never knew I was home. Even birds were unwelcome, their soft bodies crashing into doors that were windows and windows that were seamless walls. For all the light and airiness I could scarcely see or breathe. All signs of life were kept hidden behind polished mirrored panels. A fire floated at the center of this edgeless space, cool as a star and hearthless. No songs, no stories disturbed the purity of line. A glowing aquarium mimicked our well-designed heaven. I hugged this scrap of sea with hope of disappearing into a more familiar element. Among languid angelfish I'd wait to be reincarnated as a man coming home every night to an unmeasured kiss and the chaos of love, to a clutter of furniture utterly baroque, to a cabinet of talismans from the Amazon and shelves of bibelots from Tunis and Japan, to a place with real corners and real dust, a place that would hold me in and let me out. · Hymns to Nanan ·

1. 1960, Between the Devil and the Gulf of Mexico Florida was never heaven-that was Pennsylvania. Waking to pull bright fruit from trees for ambrosia, and fish from the wide silver gulf was somehow too simple when hauling stones from the field for fences and avoiding the poison of rhubarb was all she had known. But she went south for him, taking me, a grandson, as keepsake, or else the deceivingly prim secretary would have taken everything and left her with nothing but remorse. Now jai'lai and casting for marlin, playing the greyhounds and horses she has bet her soul will keep him. Only the devil knows how far the sylvan hills and her mother's Quaker god lie from these infernal beaches, these hideous swamps, the mermaids in Miami, and the life that he has mapped. 2. 1964, Loaves and Fish Fry (and Roast Beef) She tore old loaves to bits, her ritual duty to remind us of suffering through years of scarcity. Pouring milk over bowls of crumbs she'd talk about the War and the Depression like we were there, like we'd be eager as our Puritan ancestors for this meager supper, for this ritual humility that somehow did taste better than Friday's exceptional fish or the ceremony of Sunday's rare roast displayed before our innocent eyes. 3. 1967, Salvation She never entered any church and her feuds with ministers were legendary. She angered her sisters with her simple prophecy that she'd find salvation's door-eventually-and the devil would have to deal with her directly. I alone was congregation, choir, and presbytery in her saltbox of worship that held all mystery. She preached to me her deity while my heathen parents slept with rhythms of Coltrane in their heads and my brother and sister crept through to watch cartoons. She promised that if I stayed I'd find heaven without them. It was then I prayed.

Excerpted from RED SUBURB by Greg Hewett Copyright © 2002 by Greg Hewett
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Summaries
Main Description
Like a gay Wonder Years, Red Suburb is a poignant collection of memory, love, and longing.
Main Description
Red Suburb portrays the neurotic beauty of a generation squeezed between the Baby Boomers and Generation X. These poems-ripe with love and wistfulness-scope the garish Kodak colors of suburbia, then twist like a kaleidoscope to reveal a distorted American Dream. Thoughtful and at times urgent, Greg Hewett writes of coming-of-age as a seer, a dreamer, a gay man, and a social iconoclast amidst the abject development of cul-de-sacs and two car garages. Marketing Plans Co-op available National author tour to include New York, Minneapolis, and San Francisco National print advertising in Poet's & Writer's, The Advocate, Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review Greg Hewett was born in Elmira, New York in 1958. His first collection of poetry, To Collect the Flesh was published by New Rivers. Hewett has lived in California, France, Japan, Denmark, and Norway, and is assistant professor of English at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
Main Description
Red Suburb portrays the neurotic beauty of a generation squeezed between the Baby Boomers and Generation X. These poems - ripe with love and wistfulness - scope the garish Kodak colors of suburbia, then twist like a kaleidoscope to reveal a distorted American Dream. Thoughtful and at times urgent, Greg Hewett writes of coming-of-age as a seer, a dreamer, a gay man, and a social iconoclast amidst the abject development of cul-de-sacs and two car garages. Marketing Plans Co-op available National author tour to include New York, Minneapolis, and San Francisco National print advertising in Poet's & Writer's, The Advocate, Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review Greg Hewett was born in Elmira, New York in 1958. His first collection of poetry, To Collect the Flesh was published by New Rivers. Hewett has lived in California, France, Japan, Denmark, and Norway, and is assistant professor of English at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
Main Description
Red Suburb portrays the neurotic beauty of a generation squeezed between the Baby Boomers and Generation X. These poems-ripe with love and wistfulness-scope the garish Kodak colors of suburbia, then twist like a kaleidoscope to reveal a distorted American Dream. Thoughtful and at times urgent, Greg Hewett writes of coming-of-age as a seer, a dreamer, a gay man, and a social iconoclast amidst the abject development of cul-de-sacs and two car garages. Marketing Plans Co-op available National author tour to include New York, Minneapolis, and San Francisco National print advertising in Poet’s & Writer’s, The Advocate, Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review Greg Hewett was born in Elmira, New York in 1958. His first collection of poetry, To Collect the Flesh was published by New Rivers. Hewett has lived in California, France, Japan, Denmark, and Norway, and is assistant professor of English at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
Table of Contents
The Distance to Birthp. 13
Nobodyp. 14
Glass Boxp. 16
Hymns to Nananp. 18
When I Was Twelvep. 25
Under the Sunp. 26
Home From 'Namp. 27
Modern Livingp. 28
Red Suburbp. 30
The Color of Lovep. 35
A Great Rose Windowp. 36
The Razor's Gracep. 37
Snowboundp. 38
Prince of Lightp. 41
No Sign of Squirrelp. 44
Love Surrenders to Chaka Khanp. 48
The Space between Secondsp. 50
Black Creekp. 51
Memorial Fountainp. 52
So Ecstatic, So Greenp. 53
The Sourcep. 54
Marschenbrunnp. 56
The Next Five-or-So Yearsp. 59
I'm Not Going to Be Your Bathhouse Jesusp. 60
Crimes of Lustp. 63
Universes under Ball Capsp. 64
Making Tapenadep. 65
Cohort 1161p. 66
Ashesp. 67
A Place More Perfectp. 69
Rose Timep. 70
Turtle Musicp. 75
Bird Boyp. 76
When I Lost My Handsp. 79
Alchemy on the Charles Bridge, Praguep. 80
From the 36th Floorp. 82
Two Sons of the King of Delhi Hanged, 1857p. 83
Amtrak Sunsetp. 85
Unnatural Actsp. 87
"Fernweh"p. 90
God's Eyep. 92
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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