Abraham Smith’s “Destruction of Man” is available here: thirdmanbooks.com/books/destruction-of-man
“tractor of my sore throat”
Excerpted from Destruction of Man
DESTRUCTION OF MAN is a book-length poem about small-scale family farming in the midst of the get-big-or-get-out mantra and foghorn. Willie Nelson sang for Farm Aid and it didn’t work: this won’t either: yet DESTRUCTION OF MAN is a book: a book by a poet/farmer about farming and a family man and a familiar county—stung body; stung land—as told by a tweaked-to-warble farm machine that ate a human arm, and the chicken ate what’s left, and the hawk ate what’s left, and then the hawk died of old age. The conclusions are clarion clear: rurality has its hectic music and all we have is love. In the words of Gertrude Stein: “After all anybody is as their land and air is.”
I’ve been unable to decide if the best way to describe this book is as punk gone agrarian or if the agrarians went punk — Juliana Spahr, Winner of the 2009 O.B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize
Abraham Smith is the author of four poetry collections: Ashagalomancy (Action Books, 2015); Only Jesus Could Icefish in Summer (Action Books, 2014); Hank (Action Books, 2010); and Whim Man Mammon (Action Books, 2007). In 2015, he released Hick Poetics (Lost Roads Press), a co-edited anthology of contemporary rural American poetry and related essays. His creative work has been recognized with fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA, and the Alabama State Council on the Arts. DESTRUCTION OF MAN, his book-length poem about farming, is forthcoming in Spring 2018 from Third Man Books. Smith is an Assistant Professor of English at Weber State University, Ogden, Utah.
Performed live at Third Man Records
Filmed by Brad Holland and Harry Kagan