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Now and Then

The poems were written over a ten year period, and represent a number of stylistic and conceptual forays. The work is described by the poet Jim Bertolino as “generous and sophisticated in their arresting images and their beautiful accuracies.” Suzanne Paola, winner of a 2002 National Book Award states: “Piper refuses to haunt only the material world, thoughthe poems are rich with perfect observations. He always considers courageously the rich suggestiveness of the world he sees, its edges of sorrow and the always difficult implications of human presence.” Finally, Rick Newby, a Montana writer and editor notes that this is “a deeply felt first collection composed out of the fabric of particulars pushed to the verge of lyric abstraction.”

Now & Then is available for $16 (includes shipping and handling). Send checks directly to Flying Trout Press, PO Box 1256, Bellingham, WA 98227.

Farmer’s Market

A young man picks furtively on a dobro
as if hunting melody, then

catches it, hits a strong downbeat, lets
out a wail, and people wander by, townsfolk,

students, tourists, alternatives pierced and tattooed
between the rows of tents and stalls,

and the busker plays on, tempting, dobro case open,
a few scattered bills, coins

like silver eyes,
next to him carrots, beets, tomatoes,

cukes, potatoes in perfect rows, in the next booth
woolen hats, then fruit, then hemp clothes, then

the wafting smoke of grilled portobella mushrooms
and beyond a blur of color, sound, motion.

The market a commons, a microcosm,
a cell in an infinite animal wandering, subdued

but excited
on its path of wonder.

—Paul Piper