Everywhere West – Chris Green

Everywhere West – Chris Green

Poetry. Paper, Perfect Bound. 68 pages
2019, ISBN: 978-1-936419-88-3 $16.95 S&H

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The poems in Chris Green’s Everywhere West stand in the light and dark of family life and are bowled over by the beauty of fatherhood. Like a novel, the poetry asks over and over, “What’s worth living for?” The book also explores living in America at a time when basic human value is being hacked and discontinued. The poetry stands and says I am happy and I am not happy. Nothing is simple about being a child and parent, and through complications of time and grief, the book is crowded with hope.

Praise for Chris Green’s work:
Each poem in Chris Green’s new collection is a hero of honesty. Each poem is a map to the center of the most human part of the heart. A map to the moments that might be too average to the average eye. But aren’t. Often they are moments of subtle awe for the female. Wife, daughters, Mother, Nature. Green’s knowing, an owning of his place in the bigger picture. His own father-ness. — cin salach

This is Chris Green at his finest: the poet as naturalist. Green’s naturalism is not, however, one of pinched concision, or remote observation. Rather, in Everywhere West, we get poems of engagement and of grace, poems in which the ordinary becomes marvelous. Being father, son, husband, friend, animal lover, and global citizen, are quotidian pleasures, to be sure, but in these poems, they become uncanny and vertiginous as well. — Liam Heneghan

The poems here are heavy with memory and bright with refracted light—like river stones, lovely and tactile, irresistible to the hand and heart. Chris Green fully inhabits the moment each poem happens, then leads us into that moment’s center where everything blooms “rainbow rainbow rainbow.” Everywhere West makes me feel almost unspeakably human. — Jan Bottiglieri

The warm, empathic poems in Chris Green’s latest collection are a life-affirming, alternative reality to the “loneliness business” of America’s “huge and swollen darkness.” With crisp language and formal dexterity, Green finds dignity and grace in the domestic, celebrating the everyday exuberance of love’s steady radiance. — Tony Trigilio

Everywhere West by Chris Green reviewed at Booklist: https://www.booklistonline.com/Everywhere-West-Chris-Green/pid=9733037

A welcoming collection that will connect with readers as much for its familiar content as for Green’s ability to open intimate poetic moments outward to the world.

Prodigal Daughter

You are always drumming your small fingers
and refusing to blink.
When you are mad this is a popular act:
write my name on a piece of paper, cross it out,
and hand it to me.

Once you said, “Santa Claus is not looking for you.
God is not looking for you.”
I agreed.

I can even believe you exist to tease me
into writing about you.

You spend mornings looking out the window
for the cloud-white cat that patrols our yard each night,
and the killed baby rabbits always left
in the same spot. The cat does his work
lays his report on our desk.

It is always a matter of life or death.

You are so serious about the predicament of nature.
You keep a field journal at five.
I ask if you write about the weather;
you look disbelieving as if I don’t know a single thing.
You say, “It’s for writing about animals
and their problems and when it’s foggy what’s blocking you.”
Your first entry still feels true:
“The baby dolphin was lost in the woods of the sea.”

There is something to be said for knowing that a house
is not the world.

As I wave in my young old age as if for the last time
watching you, I find my seat at the desk.
Unseen I stare back as you recede

About Chirs Green
Chris Green is the author of four books of poetry: The Sky Over Walgreens, Epiphany School, Résumé and Everywhere West (Mayapple Press, 2019). His poetry has appeared in such publications as Poetry, The New York Times, Court Green, Prairie Schooner, and Columbia Poetry Review. He has edited four anthologies including I Remember: Chicago Veterans of War and the forthcoming Poetic Justice: A Poem by 100 Chicago Poets on Gun Violence (Big Shoulders Books, 2020). He also started the Poetic Justice League, a forum for collaborative political poetry: https://thepoeticjusticele.wixsite.com/pjlsite. He teaches in the English Department at DePaul University. More information can be found at www.chrisgreenpoetry.com.