Lies of the Poets

Lies of the Poets


Leslie Gerber


Sample Poem

The Archivist

    “Flesh was not conceived to win.”  -Sharon Stonekey

 All the bones collapse at last.
Throughout my past
fading has grown
to dominate.

              Her fingers pressed
against my spine once drew me in
like herons flying.
                        I knew the joy I felt
at making her flesh melt
would fade.  I knew I should
have kept a journal, photos, cards,
but I did not think to make it last
while we were rushing so.

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Your poem [Lies of the Poets] is clever and erudite enough to rescue your dubious reputation. —Billy Collins, former Poet Laureate of the United States
Sometimes sharply funny, sometimes achingly sad, always wise, precise, keenly observed, Leslie Gerber’s poetry is a richly textured joy to read. —Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
Leslie Gerber is plenty deft at humor, but he’s just as deft at heartbreak, delivering poems so unsentimentally powerful that they rearrange my organs. In his work, domestic violence survivors, a loved one with Alzheimer’s, and a dead child elbow their way through goose poop, shiny physical therapists, and the charming burgs of North and South Beerville. Stitched through these worthy works are language gems: dog leash in one hand/memory in the other; Wind blew a woman/away from me; and (here go my organs) So strange/to think that water hurts/something made to contain it the way I, meant to contain/your love, am now eroding. —Gretchen Primack, poet