Today's poem is "The Ghost Town"
from Two Men Fighting with a Knife

Story Line Press

John Poch was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1966. He received an M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in English from the University of North Texas. He was the inaugural Colgate University Creative Writing Fellow, and now teaches in the creative writing program at Texas Tech University. His first book, Poems, was published by Orchises Press (2004).

Other poems by John Poch in Verse Daily:
December 27, 2003:  "Thief" "Before the snow, I stand in a darkening field...."
November 18, 2003:  "Talking About Fire" "Prometheus and his old hawk, sore..."
October 3, 2002:  "The Veery" "I have predicted the end of spring for the fifth time..."

Books by John Poch: Two Men Fighting with a Knife, Hockey Haiku, Poems

Other poems on the web by John Poch:
"The Salesman"
Three poems
"John's Christ"
"The Owl and the Table"

About Two Men Fighting with a Knife:

"In spite of its rueful undercurrent of mortality, Two Men Fighting with a Knife is one of the wittiest books I have read in years, full of an active thrust and parry. John Poch mines these poems from a rich vein of American vernacular. He's a raconteur of Texas and 'the old west ins and outs,' offering a range of moods from anger to hilarity and grief, hewing close to actual lives, surprising us with crackerjack phrasing and vital talk. Who would have thought poetry could have the seriousness of a knife fight staged with such comic aplomb? Reading these poems is like listening to an eccentric talker who happens to enjoy rhyme, knows a lot of genuine characters, and might be a bit of a character himself. There is an invective against the cops of Denton, Texas, a sonnet crown about spinal surgery, a sestina devoted to 'Folks Who Never Got their Due.' On the rare occasions when Poch indulges literary allusion, it's always with reference to real life, as when a stain on a wooden lamp evokes a beautiful meditation about Shakespeare's Prospero and Ariel. That interplay of earth and air, reality and imagination, infuses every poem in Poch's new book, so unpretentious in its knowledge of human limits. As he writes in a marvelous poem called 'Thirst': 'If this is failure, wait. If success, / become the flower of a lantern looking / for its girl....' Poch's vision and versions of America will stay with you. This is a book to re-read with the pleasure of recognition."
—David Mason

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