How best to describe this book? Imagine Breughel raised Baptist and painting Jackson, Mississippi. Picture Franny Glass in a Dixie Chicks t-shirt with a Pyrex casserole dish of creamed corn in one hand and Finnegans Wake in the other. Picture William Faulkner drinking Slim Fast and reading Robert Creeley under a carport collapsing beneath the weight of wisteria. Feel a searing mid-August Deep South sun paying due respect to a history of shadow. This book is original and just plain wonderful. Gerald’s poems have a gritty authority and depict a world wherein our suffering is assuaged by hard earned book smarts and stubborn, wry, compassionate humor.
– Mark Cox
In Sharon Gerald’s wise and resilient poems, “Beauty swills about like / morning coffee. Sleek black cats yearn toward sparrows / forever out of grasp. Dogwoods come to visit,” and a rock formation resembles “Mother Mary reaching out to Jabba the Hut.” Asking “What is a lie but / a good intention / stumbling on its own / crooked toes?” Gerald knows that in our awkward lives, loss abides with humor, and foolishness with hard-won grace. These poems are friends I love knowing. I wish you the pleasure of their company.
Thin is the Kingdom is available now from Pinyon Press of Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction, Colorado.
$12 until September 15. $15 after September 15.
Contact Carol Christ.
Send checks to Pinyon Press, Colorado Mesa University, 1100 North Avenue, Grand Junction, CO 81501.
Listen to selected poems from Thin:
The opening poem of the book, for anyone who is an ignorant jerk or has loved an ignorant jerk…
For an Ignorant Jerk, with Love
There’s at least one lover you’ve known
worth all the Pink Floyd you’ve ever heard.
There’s one worth giving up country cooking.
And one has a smile worth losing your job.
There’s at least one woman you’d hang the moon for.
You’d do it if it took the rest of your life.
You’d do it if it couldn’t be done.
There’s one you’d cut your soul out for.
You’d give her a kidney.
You’d give her the bones in your feet.
There’s a lover somewhere you’d leave the ocean for.
You’d scrape your own skin off just to wrap her in warmth.
You’d set a place for her when you knew
she was never coming back.