Biography of Brooks Haxton
Brooks Haxton, born in Greenville, Mississippi, in 1950, is the son of the novelist Ellen Douglas and the composer Kenneth Haxton. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation, Haxton teaches in the writing programs at Syracuse University and Warren Wilson College. He lives in Syracuse with his wife and three children.
Brooks Haxton's Works:
Nakedness, Death, and the Number Zero, The Lay of Eleanor and Irene (Backcountry, 1985)
Dominion (Knopf, 1986)
Traveling Company (Knopf, 1989)
Dead Reckoning (Story Line Press, 1989)
The Sun at Night (Knopf, 1997)
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Brooks Haxton Poems
Salesmanship, With Half A Dram Of Tears
Gripping the lectern, rocking it, searching the faces for the souls, for signs of heartfelt mindfulness at work, I thought, as I recited words I wrote in tears: instead of tears,
Every Death Is Magic from the Enemy to B...
When fever burned the last light out of my daughter’s eyes, I swore to find and kill the ones to blame. Men must mount the long boat in the dark with spears. At dawn, where the flowering spicebush hid my scent,
The waterfall in sunlight is God talking to herself. Her voice poured into the trees asks nothing, to prove nothing,
The pelican in scripture is unclean. It pukes dead fish onto the hatchlings, and it roosts alone, like Satan on the Tree of Life. Nobody told me. I liked pelicans. I liked owls, too. I used to lie awake and listen,
I made sackcloth my garment once, by cutting arm and neck holes into a burlap bag. A croker sack they called it. Sackdragger they called the man who dragged a croker sack
Cattle egrets in the dry grass waded like white clerics at the hooves of brood cows, heifers, and new calves.
The wine of astonishment is house wine at my house. The whiskey of it is a sauce we savor. The cocaine of thy judgment also
On a hillside scattered with temples broken under the dogday sun, my friend and I drank local wine at nightfall and ate grapeleaves in goat-yogurt glaze. The living grape vines
It was the fortieth year since Buchenwald: two thousand Jewish refugees in Sudan starved while Reagan visited the graves of Nazis. CBS paid off Westmoreland for their rude disclosure of his lies and crimes:
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? Psalm 42 Down from twilight into dark at noon, through darker, down until the black could not be more devoid of star
I Want to Pray
In the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Psalm 51 That young man firing his Kalashnikov
OK. Let’s not call what ditched us God: ghu, the root in Sanskrit, means not God, but only the calling thereupon. Let’s call God Fun. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
Cattle egrets in the dry grass waded
like white clerics at the hooves
of brood cows, heifers, and new calves.
Forked lightning. Calm.
The darkness in the cattle tank welled up
and flooded the reflection of the trees.
Turkey vultures wheeled, and wheeled away.