National Poetry Month Celebration: Mark Truscott | Book*hug Press

National Poetry Month Celebration: Mark Truscott

Branches by Mark Truscott

Our National Poetry Month Celebration continues with Mark Truscott.

In Truscott’s latest collection, Branches, careful attention reveals that, even in moments that seem insignificant, our minds are constantly navigating disjunctions among registers of experience. Our intellect silently reminds our eyes that the car that appears to be moving between leaves is actually behind them and much larger. The sound of the vacuum cleaner in the next room is noise to be ignored. The phrase that arises in mind belongs to a conversation earlier in the day. Clear thinking demands that these navigations remain unconscious. But what if they’re meaningful, or productive, in themselves? What if they’re necessary to help us find a more meaningful place in the world? Branches explores these questions.

“Mark Truscott’s Branches is a unique and assured meditative work, at once ancient and wholly contemporary, a space where Stevens, Ashbery, and Basho might mingle and discover some as-yet unnoticed path,” writes Jeff Latosik, author of Dreampad. “‘There are smooth surfaces it seems one can only buy,’ Truscott adroitly observes. Branches is full of lines ready to take root and reward, allowing perception all its richness but also changing and transforming it with a graceful and almost natural pressure. Reader, these poems are the furthest thing from those surfaces.”

Truscott reads “Branches, No Birds,” a poem from the collection, in the following video:

Branches, No Birds

Out the window
bodies form rims
at the limits of sight
and rims form lines
in the mind that
feel like touching.

It (the mind?) is like
an edge of light, but
the light never
seems to end, and
this might be what
lends us our human shape.

A curve or reach
against the
smear of the perceived
tells us we are
inhabiting the world
in addition to thinking.

But I see
through my focus
I make things
lonely. An
inverted glow,
a limb divides the
light, both instantaneous
and reflective.

(A voice amplified but muffled
in a car passes by.)

(Remember to follow along all month as we celebrate our poets by sharing a poem each day on the Book*hug blog. Follow us as well on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.)

Mark Truscott is the author of two previous books of poetry: Said Like Reeds or Things (2004) and Nature (2010), which was shortlisted for the ReLit Award for Poetry. Poems from Branches have appeared in Event, The Walrus, and on the Cultural Society website. Truscott was born in Bloomington, Indiana, and grew up in Burlington, Ontario. He lives in Toronto.

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