Patient Zero (Paperback)
Copper Canyon Press, 9781556594939, 96pp.
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
"I will call the voice of this poet a 'common' voice... a voice a poet could take into an entire lifetime of memorable writing." --Philip Levine, Ploughshares
This second collection from APR-Honickman winner Tom's Q. Mor n explores love gone sideways in the lives of lovers, parents and children, humans and the divine. Patient Zero is filled with voices--of all the people, places, and things that surround a life sick with heartbreak. Doors are the wooden tongues of a house, grocery-store cashiers are gatekeepers to the infinite, and food is the all-powerful life force behind every living thing.
From Patient Zero
Love is a worried, old heart
disease, as Son House once put it, the very stuff
blues are made of, real blues
that consist of a male and female, not monkey junk
like the "Okra blues" or "Pay Day blues,"
though I think House would agree
two hearts of any persuasion are enough for a real blues,
if one of them is sick, that sickly green of a frog
bitten in two by the neighbor's dog, all of which
makes me wonder about the source of our disease
and whose teeth first tore the heart after Adam
and Eve left the garden?...
Tom's Q. Mor n's debut poetry collection A Larger Country was the winner of the APR/Honickman Prize. He is co-editor with Mari L'Esperance of the anthology Coming Close, and translator of The Heights of Macchu Picchu by Pablo Neruda. He teaches at Texas State University and in the low residency MFA program of Vermont College of Fine Arts.