G.C. Waldrep


April 2013

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In the flowing of Susquehanna, language has been re-immersed in its origins. It is a coursing where “this human industry / compressed into earth- / rudders second emptiness / braids a fist.” Susquehanna offers an intermingling of meaning’s tributaries where our human violations of nature are plunged into the currents of an irreconcilable otherness, “a theft unhands / what had been / (interstitial) / pine-marrowed // phantom limb.”

About the Author

G.C. Waldrep is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Your Father on the Train of Ghosts (BOA Editions, 2011), a collaboration with John Gallaher. He co-edited Homage to Paul Celan (Marick, 2011) with Ilya Kaminsky and The Arcadia Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral (Ahsahta, 2012) with Joshua Corey. He has been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Literature and a Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative American Poetry. He lives in Lewisburg, Pa., where he teaches at Bucknell University, edits the journal West Branch, and serves as Editor-at-Large for The Kenyon Review.

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Susquehanna is a volume that desperately seeks to return languge to its origins, but seems to recognize the impossibility of its task at outset. Hence the “irreconcilable otherness,” but, more than the very known dichotomy of man and nature, in Susquehanna this otherness belongs to language itself. Thus, the return to language’s origins becomes a series of pressings against the bounds of semantic sense, all of which take place along the intensely physical, bodily space of the Susquehanna’s banks.

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foglight in the electric
laurel     fanlight penetralia
as a fox is
a few thousand years
made liquid     scarlet

trousseau or     sphagnum
this human industry
compressed into earth-
rudder’s     second emptiness

braids a fist, lengthwise

bruised toadflax
on the scull-cap’s path or
plaint     —but rivers

the wheedling ash-breath

cleft / bloodroot
submarine in equinoctial
escheat     the hunter’s
thriveling      scry-maple

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