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About this poet

Roger Reeves's first book, King Me, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2013 and was awarded the 2014 Larry Levis Reading Prize and a John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares. His second collection of poetry, On Paradise, is forthcoming from W. W. Norton. Reeves has received fellowships from Cave Canem and the National Endowment for the Arts. The recipient of a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship and a Whiting Award, Reeves was a Hodder Fellow from 2014 to 2015 at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University. He lives in Austin, Texas.

Past Barabbas

The funeral past and also I loved him.
And also I, him and so loved past him.
And so all funeral the past ran animal
Up to our eyes, and so, lo, I loved
Any which him, the I-him, the scandal-
Animal of him hanging his newborn
Twenty years past newborn out of a moving car,
The silence of the road sorrowing up.
I didn’t want to begin with music,
The cough of shovels, the hiss of white chairs
Tallying the fraudulence and broken
Hip of my uncle already five days
Past Barabbas, the shekels spent on Hen-
Nessey, the account drained, thieved, drained,
My father, seven days in silence, God
Touching his weariness (or not) like a hunter
That comes upon a broken instrument
In the woods, the thing made feral
By its brokenness so cautiously he attends
To the gut and tender of it, his hand
Raising the neck from the leaves, running one
Finger across its throat and listening
For blood or what blood remains howling. Wolf.

Copyright © 2017 Roger Reeves. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Fall 2017.

Copyright © 2017 Roger Reeves. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Fall 2017.

Roger Reeves

Roger Reeves

Roger Reeves's first book, King Me, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2013 and was awarded the 2014 Larry Levis Reading Prize and a John C. Zacharis First Book Award.

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The market is made of fire so nothing
Stands, or stands—even in the ideal
City of Pullman, I hear “nigga run,”
One child shouting to another in ruins,
Of ruin and so call out in paradise
To the live bloody skeleton hung softly
As summer in each other to escape
This year’s