Out from Random House. Available from Amazon.

They Lift Their Wings to Cry


I came home drunk without my key
and lay down in the yard to think.
Inside my skull on damp grass thoughts
spun inward. Whorls of a magnetic field
exfoliated under the solar wind,
so that the Northern Lights above me
trembled. No: that was the porch light
blurred by tears. Moths slammed
head first into the light bulb. Maybe
they needed bigger brains. Me too.
I closed my blurry eyes, and springs
flowed underwater in my sleep.

Brooks Haxton is as up-to-date as anyone you’d care to meet. Yet in his poems I always hear vestiges of ancient elegance, just as in his imagination I see vestiges of ancient surprise. His poems are written at the moment of the mind’s awakening. This book is a wonder. An extraordinary pleasure.
— Hayden Carruth
Brooks Haxton’s new book will haunt you, in its musicality, pathos, intelligence, and hilarity—it made me bust out laughing in an empty room. Haxton takes us from the red gullies of his Mississippi childhood into the lyric nuances of new versions of Horace and Paul Celan. There’s no smarter, more resonant book on your horizon.
— Mary Karr
Tactile and philosophical clarity, focus, and expansiveness, with reverence for the world of ten thousand things, and, lest we forget redemptive silliness—the dunderheaded and bitter moments of life as well as the exalted. What an extraordinarily rich book this is: its depth of knowledge still approachable, generously human, utterly deft.
— Dean Young