Moved, by Michael Jones
As rough and strong as rope, his voice / gathers the dead with those of other / songs that begin the same way, rising / from singing’s soil of leaves and slaughter.
– from “A Gypsy Sings Of The ’89 Massacre”
Michael Jones’ new collection plants us at the moment of impact. These are poems set deeply in the soil of contemporary America, ghosted by our many origin songs, always cognizant of the larger landscape even as they cone down on the details of immediate, overpowering sensation.
Huddled under the window
of her apartment in the silence
dropped by the thud that shook
the walls some minutes ago, she tries
to remember her sister telling
about being mugged at the phone booth
outside the QuikStop, how she stayed
on the ground for a long time –
two Thanksgivings ago they talked –
she stayed on the ground for a long time;
what did she say after that? What came next?