Sleeping It Off in Rapid City
Poems, New and SelectedBook - 2008
The first broad retrospective of August Kleinzahler's career, "Sleeping It Off in Rapid City" gathers poems from his major works along with a rich portion of new poems that visit different voice registers, experiment with form and length, and confirm Kleinzahler as among the most inventive and brilliant poets of our time. Travel--actual and imaginary--remains a passion and inspiration, and in these pages the poet also finds "This sanctified ground / Here, yes, here / The dead solid center of the universe / At the heart of the heart of America."
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On waking in a room and not knowing where one is
... One is able to make out shapes.
It is not restful, to be like this, here,
nor is it a fearful place.
In a moment or two you will know
exactly where you are,
on which side of the door,
your wallet, your shoes,
and what today you'll have to do.
Cities each have a kind of light,
a color even,
or set of undertones
determined by the river or hills
as well as by the stone
or their countless buildings.
I cannot yet recall what city this is I'm in.
It must be close to dawn.
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