ABOUT Anthony Russell White

Anthony Russell White lives on a mountain top in San Rafael, CA, and serves on the permanent staff of the Nine Gates Mystery School. He returned to poetry in 1992 after a career in the art world. A poetic high point for him was a visit to the tomb of Jelaluddin Rumi at Konya, Turkey; he says that he is still awed by Rumi’s poetry. William Stafford has been another major influence. Talent House Press published his first chapbook, Tom Mix Died Right Here in 1999, and his second, How I Learned About Baseball, in 2000. His third chapbook, The Last known photograph of Daphne was published in the Poetry Matrix Chapbook Series in 2001, and his fourth, Falling Out of Orbit was the Plan B Press prize winner in 2006. His latest chapbooks are Thief, Mango, Constable & Flower (Pudding House Publications) and Ferrovie (Červená Barva Press). Another, The Untier of Impossible Knots, is forthcoming from Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press. His full-length manuscript, The Faith of Leaping, won the 2007 Spire Press competition and will be published early in 2008. In 1997 his “Enrique” appeared in e: The Emily Dickinson Award Anthology and was a Pushcart Prize nominee. In 1999 his “New Year’s Poem, 1998” won The Rainer Maria Rilke International Competition, and was published in ARTLIFE. His poems have won many awards, and have appeared in numerous magazines, anthologies, and group chapbooks.

Pecan Grove Press

These Bones Remember
by Anthony Russell White

“I don’t know which part of the solar system White gets his poems, but I want to go there and get some myself. …each one you read, it makes you feel like you owe him ten bucks. …Hold onto your pantlegs, dudes and dudettes— we’re about to fall out of orbit.”
—Daniel Nester, Contest Judge for Falling Out of Orbit, 2006

“White is a seeker of truth and knowledge. His work is fierce yet spiritual. He’s a poet who is able to experiment successfully with both form and language. These Bones Remember is a collection of poems about life’s mysteries—large and small, about their darkness and their light. Bravo!”
Susan Terris, author of Natural Defenses and Contrariwise

These Bones Remember

different skies, many landscapes, strange names, other faces,
remember when that earthquake split the Sacred Volcano,
spilling burning lava on our family, boiling these bones,
cannibals coming out of the night to take our children,
a single spear and a bone knife, inadequate defense,
my head and chest crushed in that sudden rock-fall
after a day of dismal hunting with four brothers,
being shaken violently, disjointed, then eaten
by some toothy feline I see but cannot name,
a fishing boat capsizing one Aegean night,
leaving seven widows on a distant beach,
the slow agony of childbirth gone awry,
with crying twins, and too much blood,
that musket ball burning in my belly
after the Battle of the Wilderness,
the coughing of aged infirmities,
with scrawny children watching,
inside wind-rattled hide tents
on some dusty, treeless plain,

Oh, yes, legions more.

This then is the truth death brings:
Other souls wore these bones—
bones are timeless—
Yes, there’s a dying

an ending

silence

then new flesh for the old bones,
and a lifetime of dancing with a new partner.

 


 

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