This collection of poems by Jeff Weddle is the landmark in these hard and difficult times. While reading his work I felt a reaffirmation of a poet’s deep and unshakable faith in the voice of the muse that frames all human endeavor. These poems are a work of nature and I fervently hope that they reach the wide audience so richly deserved. This poet is a man of the book, but more profoundly a word warrior of the soil and of the air we breathe.
— Neeli Cherkovski, internationally-known poet and literary chronicler
Silver Medalist winner of the Florida Authors and Publishers Association President's Book Awards
Excerpts from Comes To This
You Know Her
Beautiful girl has
no umbrella, she carries
her shoes in the rain.
She’s a sonata
minor chords and broken glass
ashtrays, lies, spilled wine.
The Light of the World
Paula knew how to write a poem.
Her words bit and held
and every line was better
than any line you could write.
Paula drank Jim Beam
straight from the bottle
and chased it with beer.
Paula sent her poems to the magazines
and the magazines said she was a miracle.
Paula ate pills until her hands shook
and she could barely move.
Paula read her poems in the bars
and the drunks hooted
and laughed and talked loudly
Paula tried to hang herself
in the living room
using a ceiling fan
and a leather dog leash.
Paula stopped reading in bars
and sending her poems to the magazines.
Paula fell off the porch
and broke her leg in three places,
lay writhing on the lawn
for a half hour until a neighbor
finally heard the screams.
Paula quit writing and works
in a factory making pre-packaged
Paula danced with the gods
and the gods fucked her good.
But the magazines were right:
Paula was a blinding miracle.
Never heard of her? Isn’t that
the way it works?
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Jeff Weddle grew up in Prestonsburg, a small town in the hill country of Eastern Kentucky. He has worked as a public library director, disc jockey, newspaper reporter, Tae Kwon Do teacher, and fry cook, among other things. His latest book, Comes to This, was published by Nixes Mate Books. His first book, Bohemian New Orleans: The Story of the Outsider and Loujon Press (University Press of Mississippi, 2007), won the Eudora Welty Prize and helped inspire Wayne Ewing’s documentary, The Outsiders of New Orleans: Loujon Press (Wayne Ewing Films, 2007), for which Weddle served as associate producer. His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in dozens of venues, including the anthologies Surreal South ’13 (Press 53, 2013); Pressure Press Presents (Pressure Press, 2014); Stovepiper (Stovepiper Books, 1994) and Mondo Barbie (St. Martin’s Press, 1993). Weddle is the author of a poetry collection, Betray the Invisible (OEOCO, 2010), a limited-edition, fine press book handcrafted by master book artist Mary Ann Sampson, and a chapbook of Barbie poems, Not Another Blonde Joke (Implosion Press, 1991). He is an associate professor in the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama.
Copyright © 2017 Jeff Weddle
Cover photograph from the collection of Lauren Leja
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review or scholarly journal.
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