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Ruin by Roberta Lowing
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Ruin is one of the first poetry collections in the world to explore the epic tragedy of the Iraq War (2003 – 20??). Using four distinctive voices, and constructed almost as a thriller, Roberta Lowing’s 55 poems re-create the devastating invasion and years of betrayal and heart-break – and moments of hope and illumination – endured by Iraqi civilians and American soldiers. Ruin pays tribute to the Twentieth Century’s greatest humanist poets and resonates with the influences of Neruda, Levertov, Celan and more. This work is of our time for our time, a collection which expresses the anxieties and aspirations of all those who resist the dark forces shaking our world.
IP (Interactive Publications); August 2012
113 pages; ISBN 9781921479434
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Title: Ruin
Author: Roberta Lowing
Recruitment Form Down from the black-wedged hills of Virginia under its bowl of dull quartz down from land the colour of lung and old cars eating earth down from the coal pits on the stubby peaks down from banners of rain and bleached flags on sagging porches down from fires burning in gasoline drums and ponds of oil down from graves marked with rusted hub caps down the dirt roads the classrooms in trailers the women crying in backrooms down from old men spitting tobacco juice through gums not yet forty down from green water in the wells bobcats chained in tiny cages dogs with yellow eyes down from children the colour of dirt playing with dirt down from nothing-to-do Friday nights and being-too-drunk Saturdays down from shootin’ possums under daddy’s shouts both hands trying to hold the barrel to pump action .22s peppering road signs going woo hoo we on a express elevator to hell john-boy feel that wiiiind cut the skin between my fingers hearts leeeapiiinnnggg to bounding light round and round the ground rushin’ to meet us smears stampin’ down my breath sky’s on top grit in my eye john-boy john boy can’t blink down from the dust rising off the dawn hills down from my momma’s eyes holding caverns of old light down from a bus ride through the cold night down to this a chipped wooden desk in the barber’s shop in Louisville the dull glint of braid on blue the guys all there Josh snapping gum hawking spit balls pushing me forward sayin’ walk in the park my man a few salutes easy money there’s Bradley sweatin’ through ten pounds of gut lard his granddaddy’s medals pinned to his flannel shirt even the skinny Milltown kid no more’n sixteen who threw fits all through junior school every ghost of Old Dominion says Let’s roll! as we copy our names off our fake IDs on to the recruitment form.