The haunting poems in ORDINARY GRAVITY drop you into a world of logging towns of western Oregon in the fifties and sixties—a way of life undergoing change—with forays into the small towns, the woods, and on the rivers. Gary Lark is a keen, elegiac witness to the people in this world and the generation marked by the Vietnam War, and their hard-won wisdom and ironies. These poems and people "enrich the thin life of this planet," as the title poem states. In life, one shouldn't presume too much, but there are gains—"All you have to do is brave the thorns."
Cover design: Beth Ford
Publication date: September 3, 2019
Gary Lark's most recent collection is ORDINARY GRAVITY (Airlie Press, 2019). Other work includes River of Solace (Flowstone Press), Editor's Choice Chapbook Award from Turtle Island Quarterly; In the House of Memory (BatCat Press); Without a Map (Wellstone Press); Getting By, winner of the Holland Prize from Logan House Press. Gary and his wife live in Oregon's Rogue Valley.
Learn more about Gary’s work at his site.
Excerpt from Ordinary Gravity
Hardly anyone dies of typhoid fever
any more. We can send our sons to war
without complaint. Lice are quickly dispatched
and no one freezes to death.
We have piles of antibiotics.
The broadsword wounded aren’t left
in the field to die with others rotting around them.
Of course there are more bombs and bullets
but morphine is readily available.
We can usually save a soldier whose limb
is blown off.
Yes, things are much improved.
We can send more daughters up to the front.
They have the right.
Soldiering is still a good option for the poor.
We’re working on pills for madness,
more medications to calm the nerves
and we’ll get a handle on this suicide business,
yes we will.