{ Skin Memory – poems – John Sibley Williams }

Skin Memory
poems, John Sibley Williams
University of Nebraska Press, 2019
The Backwaters Prize in Poetry Series

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How does one mark a made thing knowing that creation is not, after all, so novel? With what does silence decorate? Are we consumed by our learning to swallow? Does no being in heaven have a perfect memory?

Skin Memory, by John Sibley Williams, is a made thing that quotes, not its maker, but its maker’s eulogist. As a reader, I felt returned to a place once cleared for my pathless image. With remnant verse and far music, Williams stages yesterday as a horse teaching a bird about revision and today as a different horse singing in that same bird above a water that has nightly prayed to tomorrow asking that the name of its redacted body be voiced. Absent all victors, Williams is a shaper of gestural remains and this is a leaving work that does not abandon but instead occupies enough clock for time to question the faith it’s put in stories told by jet-lagged prophets. To the details go the context.

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reflection by Barton Smock

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book is here:
Skin Memory

 

 

 

{ As One Fire Consumes Another – poems – John Sibley Williams }

As One Fire Consumes Another
poems, John Sibley Williams
Orison Books, 2019

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John Sibley Williams is a poet who seemingly writes from memory those invisible psalms that cast language as a font and word as the codename of one who’s kept a diary of the search for yours.  As such, the collection As One Fire Consumes Another knows what to say after it says it while liberating from footnote how the old might guide the current into outlining those shapes bent on being dumbstruck by the new .  No findable thing need make a sound and the already lit won’t court what glows. No toy beast misses its childhood master and if a pin drops it is heard only by the late soul who’s left tapping on  a calculator in the shadow of a cross.  Both instructional and sudden, intentional and evoked, these irreplaceably devoured poems gain ground in heaven by way of their broken earth and airbrush with a slow permanence the godspeed our yearning squanders.
 
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reflection by Barton Smock

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book is here:

As One Fire Consumes Another, poems by John Sibley Williams