DARE by Michael Catherwood

Author: Michael Catherwood
Format: Paperback, 83 pages
ISBN: 0976523191
Published: July 2006

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Critical Praise for DARE

It’s been awhile since I’ve read a collection of poems as authentic, disciplined, well-crafted and moving as Mike Catherwood’s new book DARE. Like a good hunting knife, the steel in these poems performs its operations with refinement and a necessary brutality, lifting the skin from everything Catherwood lays hands on.
• Erin Belieu
Author of Infanta; National Book Critics’ Circle Ten Best of 1995

DARE reviewed in the Boxcar Poetry Review by Jason Kahler.

Additional Media for DARE

Normandale College Michael Catherwood reads on video.

Catherwood’s page at Mockingbird.

Poems from Michael Catherwood’s DARE

Myers Rum Train, 1993

Into the Blue Mountains the train swayed hours
with the free rum we drank, and me, forgetting the fight
about something profound the night before
instead admired the young black girls
in small towns waiting for the school train,
their pressed white blouses placed like daisies
against the cracked thirsty boards of train stations.

At one stop from a circle of faces
one small schoolgirl elbowed close enough
next to my window to shove her hand in,
to hand me her phone number and address—
not an approach but a quiet plea
from the poverty rum forgets.
I felt rich
and evil moving up into the landscape
and wondered about the minutes and hours
of her life, guessed she understood romance
and adventure, while the Myers Rum blurred
my eyes through the announcements of towns.

The Bulldozer Operator at the State Street Dump

He inhales boxcars of stink
as gulls circle with the litter
and scout fresh garbage.
Forty-two years earlier
and he would have saved Rommel
in the African desert.
The ground is soft as cake
where his tracks dig down
into buried heaps.
Litter snares in the north fence
and sunlight finds broken glass
where junkmen browse and poke
at garbage, toss mangled valuables
into the back of the ri ancient pickups.
Commanding small destinies,
he sits before the field
of dump trucks; they are slow movement
on a map. The diesel smoke
chokes upward as he grinds
the monster into a crawl.
He imagines the dozer’s bucket
is a gravedigger’s hand,
and all that garbage nervous.

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