This collection of poetry includes work selected from six previously published volumes and two unpublished sequences of new work.

Thoughts on Even So:

“Gary Young has honed a sinuous, brief prose poem form
that carries a flavor uniquely its own — unflinching, stringent in beauty, austerely moving. There are poems that swerve, surprise, and still see and feel with one-pointed clarity; taken together, they create a volume both supple and powerful.”

“There’s no word for what Young does, only for what he
accomplishes — the capturing of small, daily miracles.”


Poems from New Mexico Journal: Rio Vallecitos

I often get confused about the stories I tell, and can’t remember if I’ve read them, heard them, or made them up. What does it matter? I am a mystery to myself, but no longer young, my life begins to make a certain sense; the facts I’ve forgotten, the lies I believe, the should-be’s and the might-have-beens. It could even be interesting, a pleasure, this story I’ve become.

I am a fearful person. I startle easily, and jump at unfamiliar sounds; I always expect the worst. There are cattle in this pasture, cows, calves, a buckskin mare and colt. They move from one side of the stream to the other, and graze under the cottonwoods, in the open fields, and beside the cedar and piñon. They sometimes bump against the wall beside my bed at night, and their bulk is palpable, eerie and profound. They make a noise like the whimper of children when they’re hurt. There has been no moon, and the nights here are deep. The solitude and the empty space distort and magnify every sound. A loose piece of barbed wire grates in the wind outside my window; footfalls and shrill cries wake me in the dark. I stay awake, to listen, and to wonder why I’m not afraid.

Two black geldings have joined the buckskin mare and her colt. They have grazed all afternoon in shade by the stream, but now they gallop and prance from one side of the canyon to the other. When they run full speed across the stream, it sounds like church bells muffled by rain. The colt comes up to me and prances and kicks, then the geldings, snorting and shaking their heads, race toward me and skid to a stop. All four of them jump, run, kick and gallop in circles in the pasture where I’m standing. I laugh, and shout, who are you trying to impress? And suddenly I realize, it’s me, they’re doing this for me.

In the heat of late afternoon, lightning streaks from a nearly cloudless sky to the top of the far mesa. At dusk, the whole south end of the valley blazes as the clouds turn incandescent with some distant strike. There is a constant congress here between the earth and the sky. This afternoon a thunderstorm crossed the valley. One moment the ground was dry, and the next there were torrents running down the hillsides and arroyos. A quarter-mile off I could see a downpour bouncing off the sage and the fine clay soil. I could see the rain approach, and then it hit, drenching me, and moved on. Ten minutes later I was dry. The rain comes from heaven, and we are cleansed by it. Suddenly the meaning of baptism is clear to me: you can begin again, and we are saved every day.

Copyright © 2013 Gary Young - All rights reserved.