The Geese Who Might Be Gods 

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Ben Cutler’s first book of poems is rooted in a particular soil, or bone, of this world, the mountains and rivers of the southern Appalachians; but its branches and crowns stretch out to the hope of a post-apocalyptic tomato sandwich and back to Eden. Cutler’s imagination, like his vulture, is endlessly hungry, but it quivers, “lip-torn and breathless”, with empathy for and identification with everything it touches—bees, bats, children, god-geese whose necks write the letter S “for all their secrets.” These are quirky, accessible poems full of the music of common language. The casual browser, in picking up this collection, need not fear being bullied or patronized—nothing too scary here, unless you count loneliness, death, the perils of love, or the end of the world. But it is in their setting that the poet’s perilous love for the world finds its context and its meaning. The Geese Who Might Be Gods will reward reading and re-reading with passage into a familiar world both rendered strange and seen anew, as on “the first day’s morning—// when everything first opened / and reached for the new light.

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