Essay By Robert Wrigley

Add to this certain aspects of astronomical physics (black holes, the big bang, the sound of the universe speaking), and the book is both modest and immensely ambitious.Finally, in regards to a blind evaluation: most of the way through the manuscript, I’m unaware of the poet’s gender.I loved the dry poultice a single summer day could be in the mountains, even these mountains, heavily timbered and ripped again and again for their logs.

I am, it has been pointed out, a “poet of place.” That’s not something I care to explain, even if I thought I could.

Many poets are after a sense of the transcendent, some momentary collision with what is holy or sublime.

In the Bank of Beautiful Sins won the San Francisco Poetry Center Book Award.

, one a quarter century or so ago, the other quite recently.

And it is a fact that we usually exploded into such places like children, laughing, while the dust chased us along the road.

But there was one dry wash we stopped for: lake-sized, the pure dun from moth wings troweled smooth as glass.“Dust” was written about the time I was, you might say, entering into the possibilities of rhyme (it was accepted, as many were in those days, by David Wagoner, to whom I offer my thanks); “Hanging Laundry On a Windy Day in Assisi,” was written in Italy this past May, and it suggests that those possibilities have stayed with me.Rilke said, “Rhyme is a goddess of secret and ancient coincidences,” and that strikes me as one of the finest things anyone’s ever said about a poetic technique.It was a miracle we waded into past our knees, a hot bath of earth you swore we could swim through, so we did, and it poured into us like sun, like music, and we rose on that other shore changed, our clothes, our hair, our hands, our lips altogether earth.That day, we learned again the easy worth of motion, the truck a dead sea away, idling, shimmery with heat, and in every way the antithesis of mountains, their imperceptible dance, their purity of waiting, those certainties we see as chance. in Poetry from the University of Montana in 1976, where he studied under poets Richard Hugo, Madeline De Frees, and John Haines.In 20 he had poems published in Best American Poetry, and in 2013, his poem "Religion" appeared in The Best of the Best American Poetry: 25th Anniversary Edition, selected by Robert Pinsky.For me, such connections have most often had to do with where I am, on the face of this lovely and beleaguered planet.From that hard-rutted, high-line road, the dust billowed up like spindrift behind us, a cloud the color of my skin, slowly ghosting away.Included in Sure Shot are three dramatic monologues in the voices of 19 century American women: Sacagawea, Louisa May Alcott, and Annie Oakley.The Oakley poem was adapted for the stage and produced by the Helicon Theatre Company in Los Angeles.


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