Near the end, the poet sings of a palm
and a mysterious bird made of fire,
both just beyond the reach of his rational mind,
a mind that deals as readily with the duties
of an insurance executive as with
the astonishment of being Wallace Stevens.
Is the strange image of his own making
or is it a final gift from the universe
to its most ardent and articulate admirer?
Either way, he is transfixed with awe, we feel it
in the shortening sentences and the pure wonderment
of the music that emerges only in the last, lovely, unlikely line.
After years of writing humor for the New Yorker, the Onion and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, among others, Kurt Luchs returned to his first love, poetry, like a wounded animal crawling into its burrow to die. In 2017 Sagging Meniscus Press published his humor collection, It’s Funny Until Someone Loses an Eye (Then It’s Really Funny), which has since become an international non-bestseller. In 2019 his poetry chapbook One of These Things Is Not Like the Other was published by Finishing Line Press, and he won the Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest, proving that dreams can still come true and clerical errors can still happen. His first full-length poetry collection, Falling in the Direction of Up, is out from Sagging Meniscus as of May 2021.