Monday, July 12, 2010

Preorder My Poetry Chapbook Now

My second poetry collection is ready to preorder. Place those orders by 9/3/10. The book's release will be 10/29/10, but if you order now you only have to pay $1 in shipping.

The more preorders sold, the higher the press run, and the more books I get to sell and to send to reviewers, contests, et cetera.

(You can also enter the GIVEAWAY by linking here)

$14 for the book, $1 for shipping.
Order by 9/3
Go here to order, scroll down (way down, it's alphabetical by author) until you see the cover image of my book, and then pay online (you can also mail checks to Finishing Line Pess).

Benjamin Vogt’s Without Such Absence is a book filled with unanswerable questions, as if plenitude – of world, or body, or love – can be felt only framed by loss. Vogt loves the natural world and makes us love it, too, especially when he gives formal gardens voice. It’s his wit, and terror, and delight that frame these fine poems, finally, that speak the stories behind the old photographs in all our albums.

-- Hilda Raz, author of All Odd and Splendid and What Happens

‘No one remembers unless they have a souvenir,’ writes Benjamin Vogt. In Without Such Absence, poems themselves become souvenirs. These are photographs of a lost America—wooden schoolhouses, clotheslines, faded flags, and strange gardens—a poetry so polished and formally rigorous that we cannot forget the places Vogt has captured.

-- Jehanne Dubrow, author of Stateside and From the Fever-World


Suddenly, Autumn

Is it here at the window where we truly see
the brown-leafed oaks, the drying grass,
the bulge of clouds that darkens asphalt roads?

Is it within a frame of measured faith and chosen
color, relief of temperatures in flux—the southern
wind that fishtails from the north in thirty minutes,

sun spots glancing blows through tattered canopies?
How everything is almost everything we feel?
Loosening cold clothes from our tired limbs,

the quick friction warming us against the air,
then against ourselves, between our knees, our
arms and torsos, bone and streaming lungs.

Is morning like hot tea gripping at your chest,
flooding down and through you like some
revelation, incantation of the perfect pitch,

choral song of waking, sparrow, passing cars?
Will emptiness feel as bold, will the space
our body’s voices leave be sacred words

that vision won’t speak, that sound won’t touch—
a place the mind can’t frame without such absence?

Japanese Garden

Enter through the hedge like wind slipping from itself a stained earthly veil. Step forward with calm to find a stone in your path—all flowers open slow. Beside the tea house rinse your hands and mouth to show you walk from rivers. Speak softly in shade, smell cool dew against your feet, hear nothing but light. Yatsuhashi leads across calm water, trains stars beneath the surface. Beside a black pine one stone looks up, one over; something speaks inside. Waves of sand move still around three green islands, yet mountains cry within. Weeping willows trace the arc of my back like clouds—one leaf trembles. Lotus in the pond; we must rest here awhile like wonted stones. As the sky, gravel; as rivers, flesh of peony; without me, you.


Chloe m said...


Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Congratulations Benjamin! What a great accomplishment! I placed a link to your blog in my post, and I am ordering your book today.Can't wait to read your poems and see the pictures. All the best,

Benjamin Vogt said...

Thanks guys! I can't wait to have you read my poems. Some day, hopeflly, you can read my memoir, too!

Kimberly said...

AWESOME! Congratulations to you!!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Oh my, you have captured a Japanese garden so well. I was taken straight to my favorite sitting place in a Japanese garden here. Aahhhh.... My favorite poems are ones I can understand. Where the picture is drawn, yet, I can fill in all the negative spaces.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Lisa--I ABHOR complicated poems. What's the point in writing if no one understands you? Simple elegance. If you are familiar with Ted Kooser's poems, and enjoy them, you should do ok with mine (he was one of my teachers). I get so angry with poets and writers who write cryptically--writing is communication, not a word find puzzle.

D said...

Benjamin, well done! I love the photo of the abandoned building on your cover. For years my paintings and drawings were of barns, old and collapsing houses, buildings, structures... I have always been drawn to them and felt I needed to try and 'preserve' whatever history there might remain within that image.

Your words paint a vivid picture and I am anxious to receive your book I just ordered.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Diana--Oh thank you for stopping by, and many many thanks for purchasing a copy of the book! I love driving though fields and seeing the old structures, but they are razed and burned so quickly, so often, even by family of those who once used them, there is little since of ourselves or our history left. This is a big problem in this country!

Benjamin Vogt said...

D--That photo is the chicken coop on my dad's homestead. A wash house, the barn, and another coop also still stand, and some old stone walls of lean tos....