The Hemophiliac's Motorcycle

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89 pages, 6 x 9 inches

“The fresh crispness and limpid clarity of Tom Andrews' poems give them a distinct brightness and accessibility. These are not poems about illness. They are about the dominion of the spirit when it is rich in imagination and courage.”—Guy Davenport

“Tom Andrews said in his first book, 'He wanted a listening / Speech to approach all things with,' and he had already found it. He is a true poet, loving, tough, ecstatic. His truest subjects are his own illness and his brother's illness and death; the poetry shines through 'like light through wax paper,' inside and outside of time.”—Jean Valentine

In this second wise and passionate book, Tom Andrews explores illness as a major theme, avoiding sentimentality without being merely confessional. He advances his considerable talent with great strength and forcefulness. The poems are buoyant with humor and mindful of larger mysteries even as they investigate very personal issues. There is an urgency that is compelling; the work is immersed in the private grief of the speaker without excluding the reader. There is real and hard-won wisdom and intelligence in the poems, offering genuine surprises and delight; their attractive humility is not a pose.

Table of contents: 

The Hemophiliac's Motorcycle

At Burt Lake
Ars Poetica
Praying with George Herbert in Late Winter
A Visit to the Cathedral
Reading Frank O'Hara in the Hospital
Reading the Tao Te Ching in the Hospital
When Comfort Arrives
Evening Song

Hymniing the Kanawha

The Codeine Diary



To disappear into the right words
and to be their meanings…

October dusk.
Pink scraps of clouds, a plum-colored sky.
The sycamore tree spills a few leaves.
The cold focuses like a lens…

Now night falls, its hair
caught in the lake's eye.

Such clarity of things. Already
I've said too much…

language must happen to you
the way this black pane of water,
chipped and blistered with stars,
happens to me.