“Indricotherium” from The Lost Animals

Indricotherium

Largest mammal to walk. Lived in the Eocene.
Weight, 40,000 lbs. Length and height, 30 feet.

Though too large to exist anymore,
it still fits in our minds.

We imagine its footstep,
the span of our bed

in the crushed grass
as we walk through a meadow.

Perhaps we see its patched skin
in a boulder’s arrowed back,

its prickly ears
in the spiny-tailed thistle.

For somewhere in us,
wrapped in a molecule

like a thread twisted in a galaxy
behind a cell, a part of Indricotherium

persists. And all the lost animals,
the Dire Wolf, Saber Tooth, Giant Sloth,

numerous and bizarre,
having fallen from evolution’s boughs

still growl and roam
the forests within.

Now I look at your hair, tumbling red
as a volcanic sky down a cliff side,

flowing onto your shoulders,
and I think of the smooth savannas

before the continents changed,
before thick jungles were flattened

into alkaline seas.
This is when Indricotherium died,

his great body pressed
like a flower in a book,

then pulled from pages of rock
forty million years later,

sorted in fragments and glued,
part of earth’s alphabet,

its language of bone.
We look around the meadow

but there is no one but us,
lost as the animals.

With the ground’s scent
in our clothes, we listen

to the sound of oaks:
creaking and old, they lean,

barely touching,
skeletons bright in the rain.

cazden

Born in Vienna Austria in 1958, David Cazden received an Al Smith Individual Artist’s Fellowship for poetry from the Kentucky Arts Council in 2008, his home state for over 40 years. David began writing poetry as an engineering undergraduate at the University of Kentucky in the 1970s. Although he stopped writing for over twenty years, he began again in 1999. David worked as poetry editor for Miller’s Pond for six years. He has one book, Moving Picture (Word Press, 2005). His work has been published in various places, including Passages North, The Connecticut Review, Rattle, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. David’s poetry has been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology, and his recent work has received various honors (2nd place, Fugue’s Ron McFarland Poetry Award, finalist for Nimrod’s Pablo Neruda Poetry Award). David is philanthropic in his local arts community and is currently co-editing the “Animals In The City” issue of the zine, qarrtsiluni. His book, The Lost Animals, was released from Sundress Publications in 2013.

You can purchase your copy of The Lost Animals here!

National Poetry Month Book Giveaway!

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That’s right, friends! Sundress Publications is giving away two books for FREE in celebration of National Poetry Writing Month!

As you may have heard, the month of April is National Poetry Writing Month! What better way to celebrate NaPoWriMo than by giving away some free inspiration in the form of some of our most-loved books of poems?

Our blog, along with many other blogs across the web, is partnering with The Book of Kells and giving away our books in celebration of this special month! The goal is to share our favorite poets with each other as well as encourage you all to visit different poetry-loving blogs and see who other people are reading (and enter ALL THE GIVEAWAYS for more chances to win!).

Here at Sundress, we are giving away David Cazden’s The Lost Animals and a copy of our beloved boss lady Erin Elizabeth Smith’s most recent collection, The Naming of Strays.

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment below with your name, e-mail, and your favorite poem/poet, and you’ll be in the running for one of these books!

You have the rest of the month to comment and enter, and on May 1st we will randomly select 2 winners!

Happy NaPoWriMo!

Now, shouldn’t you be writing something?

Sundress Publications Releases David Cazden’s The Lost Animals

ImageKnoxville, TN- Sundress Publications is pleased to announce the release of David Cazden’s second full-length poetry collection, The Lost Animals, a lingering book that explores themes of mankind versus nature. The poems are hushed, evocative, and physically tangible to all the senses—a collection any lover of nature and human intimacy should own.

Cazden’s poems are unapologetically hungry for wilderness, raw tastes and physical, emotional relationships. The speakers have smudges on their wrists, hair like volcanic skies, and are ‘part of the earth’s alphabet/its language of bone.’ Even in sorrow, their lungs inflate and deflate like balloons. Cazden paints cooking dinner as titillating, almost erotic, and driving through traffic as a nostalgic journey. These poems impress with a total engagement of the senses and frank emotion coupled with a persevering urge toward the rational.

“David Cazden’s anticipated second collection, The Lost Animals, takes us from cemetery where animals nibble moss off headstones to a high-rise apartment to the sand fences of Fort Lauderdale. Through poems deliberate in their story and interlaced with images, we find exquisite and sensual language based in landscape and the natural world: ‘Here your body unwound / while winter’s clothing piled up, / its cold ground spreading for miles, / curtained in white, freckled by crows.’ Cazden’s poems take us into the details of living and relationships where we can settle into a world where ‘pears illuminate the neighborhood’ and ‘each surface melting / at the faintest touch.’ Each poem is layered with moments and a constant nod to time here on this robust earth and with the animals that live there.”

—Kelli Russell Agodon, author of Hourglass Museum & Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room

“As the title of Dave Cazden’s wonderful book portends, loss is at the heart of this sure-handed and memorable new collection. These are felt and moving poems—from the death of a long-ago lover (‘Nicotiana, Jasmine alata’) to the break-up of a relationship to the death of a brother from a drug overdose (‘Voyage’). Through his use of lush metaphors and sharp-edged imagery, Cazden shows us how, in poem after poem, art can transform pain.”

-Jeff Worley, author of A Little Luck, winner of the 2012 X.J. Kennedy Prize from Texas Review Press

David Cazden is the author of the full-length collection Moving Picture. He began writing poetry in 1999 and has been published in numerous journals including Midwest Quarterly, Rattle, Stirring, and Apple Valley Review. A graduate of Reed College and the University of Kentucky, Cazden has also edited the poetry magazine Miller’s Pond for over six years.

The Lost Animals is now available at Sundress Publications.