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Thomas Lux

Thomas Lux

Thomas Lux published two new books in fall 2012: Child Made of Sand (poetry, Houhton Mifflin Harcourt), and From the Southland (nonfiction, Marick Press). His Selected Poems will be coming from Bloodaxe Books in fall. He is Bourne Professor of Poetry at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
I like this quietly stuttering poem very much, but it also has personal associations for me. Hendry's Beach, in Santa Barbara, was a place Kurt and Laure-Anne took us to see the last time we saw Kurt, in October 2013. They'd just moved to California from New York a year or so before. They drove across country in an RV filled with most of their belongings. For several hours, they drove head on into a sandstorm. They were "homesick" and "appalled," but they were beginning again "at the blue gates—the land's unraveling end." By the time my wife and I were in Santa Barbara, Kurt had planted a small orchard behind their house. I miss him. I loved him. He was my friend.

At The Blue Gates

          —Hendry's Beach, Santa Barbara

Vast     centerless    its frilled borders
beating land     salt-laver and seal pasture    
what nightmare forged the lobster's face     the spectral
man-o-war floating in its poisons     wellspring of fishes
the spiked and many-armed     mussel     dogfish     mackerel     skate      
endless cycles wheeling like gulls     and out crawls
the walrus     the horseshoe crab    lulled in its pelagic dance
what horrors     what chasms where the light dies    
sunken forests     mountains     world-girdler     once-God      
drop of dew from time's beginning     drying
on a spiraled arm of stars     we stand and look out     homesick
appalled     here at the blue gates     the land's unraveling end


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On Kurt Brown...