Scattered at Sea

Scattered at Sea

by Amy Gerstler


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A dazzling new collection from an award-winning poet--longlisted for the 2015 National Book Award for Poetry"

Amy Gerstler has won acclaim for sly, sophisticated, and subversive poems that find meaning in unexpected places. The title of her new collection, Scattered at Sea, evokes notions of dispersion, diaspora, sowing one’s wild oats, having one’s mind expanded or blown, losing one’s wits, and mortality. Making use of dramatic monologue, elegy, humor, and collage, these poems explore hedonism, gender, ancestry, reincarnation, bereavement, and the nature of prayer. Groping for an inclusive, imaginative, postmodern spirituality, they draw from an array of sources, including the philosophy of the ancient Stoics, diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s disease, 1950s recipes, the Babylonian Talmud, and Walter Benjamin’s writing on his drug experiences.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143126898
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/26/2015
Series: Poets, Penguin Series
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 527,647
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

AMY GERSTLER is a writer of poetry, nonfiction, and journalism who lives in Los Angeles. Her ten previous poetry collections include Bitter Angel, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Dearest Creature, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Table of Contents

I Kissing

Sea Foam Palace 3

Erotic Psalm 5

Debris Trail 6

Prehistoric Porn Film 7

Kissing 8

A Sane Life 9

Fall on Your Knees 11

In Search of Something to Worship, My Eyes Lighted on You 12

II Womanishness

Womanishness 15

Thoughts of Trees at Twilight 16

Bon Courage 17

Cursing of the Party Responsible for Her Suffering 19

On Wanting to Be Male 20

Self-Portrait as Cave Lady 21

Merrythought 22

Pale Queen 23

Childlessness 24

III Dust of Heirs, Dust of Ancestors

Ancestor Psalm 27

Disclaimer 28

On Buying a Walker 31

Ancient Chinese Philosophy 33

The Dead Woman's Telephone 34

A Short History of Sublime Moments on Hold 36

Early Greek Philosophy 37

Elijah, dead prophet, roams the earth 38

Stoics 40

IV What I Did with Your Ashes

The Suicide's wife 43

Dear Nation of My Dead 46

Extracts from the Consoler's Handbook 47

He sleeps every afternoon 49

On the Idea the Dead May Live Vicariously Through Us 51

What I Did with Your Ashes 53

It was a splendid mind 54

V Only at Certain Sacred Locations

Account of Former Lives 63

A Terribly Sentimental Fork 64

Miraculous 66

Sassafras 67

Penance 68

Rumbles from a Minor Deity 70

Hoffnung 71

Kitchen Annunciation 73

Gratitude Prayer 74

Notes 77

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