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Children with Enemies

There is a gentleness in the midst of savagery in Stuart Dischell’s fifth full-length collection of poetry. These poems are ever aware of the momentary grace of the present and the fleeting histories that precede the instants of time. Part elegist, part fabulist, part absurdist, Dischell writes at the edges of imagination, memory, and experience. By turns outwardly social and inwardly reflective, comic and remorseful, the beautifully crafted poems of Children with Enemies transfigure dread with a reluctant wisdom and come alive to the confusions and implications of what it means to be human.

72 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2017

Phoenix Poets



“Dischell elevates ordinary moments in these poems of deep attention and patient detail . . . Earnest without being cloying, Dischell writes as if he’s thumbing through a photo album, wishing to fill in the missing details just outside each frame.”

Publishers Weekly

“Compassion has always been the constant currency of Stuart Dischell’s remarkable poetry. Children with Enemies embraces our mortality and passage even as it celebrates those protean reckonings required of human lives. Dischell’s poems are poignant, amused, deeply weathered and heroic in their capacity for a timeless forgiving. This new collection exhibits a raw tenderness and poised generosity so breathtaking, so remarkable it borders on genius.”

David St. John

“No one whose poetry I would rather read—on either my best days or my worst—than Stuart Dischell.  No one whose voice is tuned so soulfully to the mysteries of our smallest gestures, the microtones of our heroic minutes, the wit it takes to love our years. The long-awaited Children with Enemies moves me, and tells me plenty about what condition my condition is in—mastery has never seemed so fresh, forgiving, and charmed.”

David Rivard

Table of Contents

Harmless Poem
Because You Have Seen It So
A Different Kind of Person
The Wharves
The Passages
Song of the Compatriots
When a Child Asks about Angels
Things Are Changing for Johanna
“The Sun on Falling Waters Writes the Text”
In the Sequences of Traffic
Nothing about Dogs
The Mysteries of Aurora
Casualty Event
Memorial Day, Greensboro
Ring of Keys
A Visit to a Strange Land
His Name Means Handsome
The Best for Me
Why Poseidon Chose My Grandfather
Others Made It Back Over the Pyrenees
I Was Busy
My Uncle’s Sketchbook from the Cold War
Little Narcissus
A Message from the Herd
Another Picture of the Future
The Squash Man
Couplet on an Ancient Visage
Standing on Z
On The Day after My Birthday
My Famous Broken Heart                                                                                                 
Beneath the Blast
Questions for the Mariner
Attic and Basement
Okay to Others
Future Girl
Without Sunglasses
What Begins in Eros Ends in Elegy
Evening in the Window (Parts I–IV)
Song of the Drunken Captain
If I Had Known You Were Listening
The Lives of My Friends
Translation from the Origins of Time

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