In this fascinating new collection by longtime poet Charles Rafferty, evocative prose poems insert strange and mysterious twists into otherwise mundane middle-class scenarios. With wonderful intelligence and imagination, these compact, revelatory poems show us what is possible when we jettison accepted devices of thought for methods that are stranger, and much truer.
PRAISE FOR THE SMOKE OF HORSES
"Charles Rafferty has given the prose poem a new identity. Poem after poem, in his wonderful The Smoke of Horses, is lucidly mysterious. It's as if Charles Simic got together with Robert Hass to discuss a day in the life of, say, Rene Magritte or, better yet, Milton Avery. In other words, there's a wonderful intelligence at work here that becomes a sensibilty, a quality that normalizes the odd, the strange, and makes the life it depicts as surprising and as humorous as, well, life itself."
"One after another, always surprising, the transcendent short tales and meditations in Charles Rafferty's The Smoke of Horses are sometimes lyrical and ecstatic, sometimes funny and self-deprecating, sometimes wistful, but always beautifully precise in their odd and individual depiction of our very human everyday life. The narrator may compare himself to a grackle, the grackle's song to a rusty gate, and the reader takes wing along with him. A pleasure to read."
© BOA Editions, Ltd. 2017