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About this poet

Alex Lemon is the author of four poetry collections: The Wish Book (Milkweed Editions, 2014), Fancy Beasts (Milkweed Editions, 2010), Hallelujah Blackout (Milkweed Editions, 2008), and Mosquito (Tin House Books, 2006). He’s also the author of two memoirs: Feverland: A Memoir in Shards (Milkweed Editions, 2017) and Happy: A Memoir (Scribner, 2009).

He is the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant and a Paterson Award for Literary Excellence, as well as fellowships from the Jerome Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Lemon is the editor-at-large at Saturnalia Books, the poetry editor for descant, and a senior prose editor at Tupelo Quarterly. He teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Ashland University and Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, where he lives.


Bibliography

Poetry

The Wish Book (Milkweed Editions, 2014)
Fancy Beasts (Milkweed Editions, 2010)
Hallelujah Blackout (Milkweed Editions, 2008)
Mosquito (Tin House Books, 2006)

Nonfiction

Feverland: A Memoir in Shards (Milkweed Editions, 2017)
Happy: A Memoir (Scribner, 2009)

operation: get down

       It is very
       Common
              To have

       A cave within us
              To hide

       Away in when it all
       Seems hopeless. To cry

              Tears of mostly blood.

       To feed on the day-
              Dream in which

       Side mirrors shear off
              Of your car

       As the walled road
                     Narrows.

       To swerve might make...

       There is a saint for the down
       & out. A rock is a rock

              Is a rock & redwood
              Trees grow out
                     Of our chests.

       It is horrible & right,
              Here in this place. Dum

              Spiro, spero.
We're all in
       This shit together.

From Fancy Beasts by Alex Lemon. Copyright © 2010 by by Alex Lemon. Used by permission of Milkweed Editions.

From Fancy Beasts by Alex Lemon. Copyright © 2010 by by Alex Lemon. Used by permission of Milkweed Editions.

Alex Lemon

Alex Lemon is the author of four poetry collections: The Wish Book (Milkweed Editions, 2014), Fancy Beasts (Milkweed Editions, 2010), Hallelujah Blackout (Milkweed Editions, 2008), and Mosquito (Tin House Books, 2006).

by this poet

poem

You want evidence of the street
fight? A gutter-grate bruise & concrete scabs—
here are nails on the tongue,
a mosaic of glass shards on my lips.

I am midnight banging against house-
fire. A naked woman shaking
with the sweat of need.

An ocean of burning diamonds

poem

Liposuction for everyone who can recite
the Pledge of Allegiance! Lip gloss, Lee
press-On Nails arrive weekly in the mail.
The turkey is always fat free & the cottage
cheese is nothing but protein. Helicopters
drop leaflets, but in truth, no one understands
the food pyramid. &

poem
MRI

An old man is playing fiddle in my head.
At least that’s what the doctor says,
pointing, as he holds my MRI to the light.

He must be eating the same hotdogs
my nephew microwaves. My nephew sees
Bob the Builder everywhere—smiling

in sauerkraut, sawing in the drifting sky.