paper • 90 pages • 14.95
ISBN-10: 1-884800-72-6


Deborah Bernhardt

Winner of the 2004 Four Way Books Intro Prize
selected by Marianne Boruch



Under oneself. Tending, and does. Thinking only of one’s hand.
Sui as in suitor—suing and pursuing.
To cede, which is withdraw. Sidelong. A glancing under decide.
Words get tired of melodrama and off themselves. Lying there, suitable.
An overuse of is, is, is. Sous as in under. Can you spare one under.
I haven’t got a side. What it is: preventable. Ensuite. Or isn’t—it’s predisposed of.
Ici dieu. Where. Sous. You see. Non. Underneath veined cities.
Sweet seed, don’t grow, don’t, my sour sigh.

Praise by Marianne Boruch, judge

“How even to talk about what it is to read these haunted, ecstatic (wily so, calmly so) immensely likable, edgy poems that Deborah Bernhardt has given us? They’re surprising, yes. You never know their next step, where they might leap, or return. The language and cadence—fractured, whizzing—of our most wired new century lives in them though Bernhardt’s subjects are ancient: love and family, ache and hope, remorse and grief worked out in memory and right now, that dazzling look-at-this. And I did. I kept coming back to look at and through these poems, both solaced and unnerved by their energy and wit and darkness, their patience—even given their great restlessness—the meticulous care in which they were made, the ghosts of Bishop, Dickinson, Cummings, Hopkins here by name and spirit, how be they transformed, flooded, rekindled, all so oddly cherished. Welcome this poet, this very original eye and ear and heart.” – Marianne Boruch, judge