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Thomas Lux

Thomas Lux

Thomas Lux was born in Massachusetts in December 1946. He has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon foundations, and the NEA. In 1994, he was awarded the Kinglsey Tufts prize for his book Split Horizon. The most recent of his eleven full-length collections is God Particles (Houghton Mifflin, 2008). He has both a new book of poems, Child Made of Sand (Houghton Mifflin) and a non-fiction book, From the Southland (Marick Press) upcoming in 2012. Currently, he is Bourne Chair of Poetry and director of the McEver Visiting Writers program at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Like Tiny Baby Jesus, In Velour Pants, Sliding Down Your Throat (A Belgian Euphemism)

It tasted so good; the touch of it tasted so... God,
handless, must have had a hand in it; it wasn't "like" anything,
though language without simile is like a lung
without air, or air and nary
a lung to breathe. It was like the lip
of a small waterfall, its perfect curve,
the half-breath-held-split-moment
the last few inches of horizontal river
turn into the first few inches of vertical river.
It was like that, or, it was like, but better than,
the word "negligee" or the word "nugatory"
or "lagniappe" (a small gift or tip.)
It was, too, like the color of the crow's wing,
in which blue and green burn beneath the black.
I'd compare it to the perfect parabola,
at the exact peak of which
a man shot out of a cannon exclaims: Yes!,
I'll land dead center of the net,
let's move the cannon back
20 feet, increase the powder load, redo the physics,
let's try it again right now!
It felt like holding an otter intent
on play, it was like a ptarmigan
on the tundra guarding her eggs,
it was like the moon in the glass eye
of a man lying in the grass
but not like the moon in his good
eye—that's a little puff of cataract.
No, it was not like, nor unlike, anything.
It was her heart carving
the air as she spoke.

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