Today's poem is "If You Have Ghosts"
from If You Have Ghosts

Zone 3 Press

John Pursley III is the author of three previous chapbooks: Supposing, for Instance, Here in the Space-Time Continuum (Apprentice House Press, 2009), A Conventional Weather (New Michigan Press, 2007), and When, by the Titanic (Portlandia Press, 2006). He has won the Fugue Poetry Prize, the Southeast Review Poetry Prize, and was co-winner of the Sarah Lawrence College Campbell Corner Poetry Prize, among others. His poems have appeared in Agni, Colorado Review, Mississippi Review, and Poetry. He lives in Greenville, South Carolina, and teaches creative writing and literature at Clemson University.

Other poems by John Pursley III in Verse Daily:
May 20, 2007:   "Misappropriation" " A wood thrush hustles leaves from one side to the next, making about..."
March 29, 2006:   "Hammerhead on the Atlantic" " On the Ft. Lauderdale docks, there are barrels..."
October 8, 2005:   "Untitled Interior" " The grapefruit tree has died...."
September 22, 2005:   "Capturing a Plum Blossom" " In the center of the table..."

Books by John Pursley III:

Other poems on the web by John Pursley III:
"The Repetition of These Things"
Two poems
"Skyland Boulevard"
Four poems
Two poems

About If You Have Ghosts:

"Graceful, tensile, and electric, If You Have Ghosts is a haunting and haunted book. John Pursley III's prodigious gifts for metaphor, imagery, and an elliptical narrative reminiscent of Larry Levis are amply displayed in this guide through liquid time. We encounter a fire that 'sounded like my mother snapping sheets / Onto the bed as they came out of the dryer,' Chet Baker's 'androgynous melody' that is 'like the false-front store / that never closes, & fools no one,' a lollipop dropped by a child in an airport that explodes 'in a confusion of ruby shards.' Empathetically felt, played out in a deeply nuanced syntax, these poems both reveal and complicate our troubled, troubling world."
—Beth Ann Fennelly

"If You Have Ghosts a latter day Old Master, Pursley uses meticulous formal technique to conjure vast and lavish landscapes in which you're glad to lose yourself. He oscillates with effortless authority between the lovely and troubled worlds outside his self and within it, all the while sweeping us along in syntax at once thrilling precipitate and fully controlled, offering pleasures both complex and pure, like 'reflections of coniferous trees / patterning & unpatterning themselves / If You Have Ghosts consummate intermediaries / caught in the pastiche / Of something other.' If You Have Ghosts is 'something other' indeed, and something wonderful."
—Joel Brouwer

"John Pursley's striking debut is a collection of meticulously orchestrated lyric mediations, very confident in its music, and recalling Larry Levis and Charles Wright in the vividly rendered ways in which leitmotifs are obsessively shuffled in order to bring the poems to large and abiding reckonings. This is an ambitious book of abundant promise..."
—David Wojahn

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