PO­ETRY

Brian Swann, Sheep Meadow Press (SEPTEM­BER) Soft­cover $22.95 (262pp), 978-1-937679-80-4

Foreword Reviews - - Contents - by Matt Suther­land

Sit next to me, Brian Swann. Be my com­pan­ion. I sense in you what’s miss­ing from my life: a voice of rea­son, tran­quil­ity, un­mis­tak­able orig­i­nal­ity. The au­thor of all man­ner of work—an­tholo­gies of Na­tive Amer­i­can lit­er­a­ture, chil­dren’s books, fic­tion, and sev­eral col­lec­tions of po­etry—swann teaches at Cooper Union in New York City.

ISTANBUL

I won­der why I’ve re­turned to this place that be­haves as if a city is cin­der-blocks and planks, sheep­skins nailed to the sides of houses, for­got­ten, go­ing rank. Where the peo­ple live in coal smoke and kids swim in wide slicks of garbage af­ter work, and I re­mem­ber when I was a boy, see­ing older kids like a for­eign race, black with pit or ship­yard, drift­ing through coal smoke, crum­bling streets, and think­ing: that is how things are, that’s real life, the siz­ing-up of a sharp look, the thick gob of spit, the crushed stub of a cig­a­rette, the breath that takes in foul air like a joke.

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