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The Other Lover

The Other Lover is a collection of bittersweet American love poems. Writing with jazz-like verbal panache, Bruce Smith reaches for the paradoxical pulls between sweetness and bitterness. With carefully crafted rhyming stanzas and unpredictable free verse rhythms, these poems bristle and pop like the riffs of a virtuoso horn player. The book is a personal, passionate, disturbing collection that places the reader both inside and outside of the poet’s life. Deftly filtering personal experiences through improvisatory structures and a wide range of idioms, Smith communicates the want, the lack, the desire for what is missing, the sweetness of absence and pain. The pleasure of The Other Lover is in the imagination’s dance in the erotic spaces between the poet and the reader.

Read an excerpt.

98 pages | 6-1/8 x 8-1/2 | © 1999

Phoenix Poets


Table of Contents

The Piano Lost in the Divorce
I’ll Make a Broken Music, or I’ll Die
I Pray for No More Reagans
After the Evening News
In the Blue Room
Immortality Ode
Drivin’ and Cryin’
His Father in the Exhaust of Engines
Double Sessions
His Father Waiting for the Light to Devour Him
Eating the Man
In the Absence of War
Groove and Break: His Voice at Fifty
Living After All
Suite for the Possessed
Hart Crane: A Dream for Two Voices
To the Executive Director of the Fallen World
To the Executive Director of the Actual
Memory of Italy
Lover and Ex
Club Lament
The Child We Didn’t Have
In Santa Croce
The Clearing
East of Eden
Dawn of the Dead
A Living
After St. Vincent Millay
In the Valley of Too Much Rain
Hart Crane: A Coda
February Sky
To Persephone Whose Face Is Potent Against the Malice of Ghosts


National Book Foundation: National Book Awards

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