Prologue to a Bidding

By Forrest Gander b. 1956 Forrest Gander
Though each single life occurs
in a series of occasions   
         striking only by what
blurry context
         precedes them
               So come to know
               what I should have wanted
               to say—from   
an internal perspective   
there is no series. Only
         event. Music knocks
us down. His brow
               shadowing the guitar player’s
         accipitrine eyes. Tile roofs   
glistening under rain.   
On a dirt road
a resuscitative walk.   
               The kite hits
         the copperhead. Cicadas
halt. The air blanks.
         And strangers crane up
         from whatever they are doing
to meet your gaze as you go past,   
         thinking, I am with you, I am   

Forrest Gander, “Prologue to a Bidding” from Lynchburg. Copyright © 1993 by Forrest Gander. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Reprinted with the permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press,

Source: Lynchburg (1993)

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Poet Forrest Gander b. 1956

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Forrest  Gander


Born in California’s Mojave Desert, poet Forrest Gander grew up in Virginia and attended the College of William & Mary, where he majored in geology. After receiving an MA in literature from San Francisco State University, Gander moved to Mexico, then to Arkansas, where his poetry—informed by his knowledge of geology—turned its attention to landscape as foreground or source of action.

Gander’s books of poetry include Eye Against . . .

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POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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