Poetry. Winner of the 2013 Sawtooth Poetry Prize. In a long-form poetry that tirelessly makes its case for its own heritage, PRACTICE ON MOUNTAINS documents a striving lover through eight weeks of various literatures, reflections, and desires. The poems and translations in this book value experience—the lived poem. The metaphysic of the literary love affair leads to its beautiful, chaotic, thoughtful pile of lyrical musings. Wallace Stevens writes, "it is not the reason / That makes us happy or unhappy. The bird sings." H.D., Thoreau, Li Po, Pound, classic country hymns, Glenn Gould, and the poet's friends are called on, among many others, in the reckless appropriations that provide for such a poetry.
"Self-knowledge requires, strangely enough, a means to quell introspection, that self-thinking of self and all that there occurs which but mimics the understanding to which it cannot arrive. David Bartone's PRACTICE ON MOUNTAINS offers itself as an astonishingly vivid record of just such a practice, seeking some enlightenment it is also too savvy to trust exists. The poetry finds an oddity of voice absolutely necessary, daily speech that contains within it shards of poetic fragment, a kind of lyric discursiveness that always interrupts its own method when that method threatens to become merely such. It's wonderfully self-searching without being narcissistic, tied into love's agonies in ways familiar but strikingly honest, deprecating but audacious, learned but humble. It brings to its readers a primary document of the mind reading through the heart's various damage."—Dan Beachy-Quick
David Bartone's poems have appeared in Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, The Laurel Review, Mountain Gazette, Verse Online, and others. He is the author of PRACTICE ON MOUNTAINS (Ahsahta Press, 2014) and Spring Logic, a chapbook with H_NGM_N. He received his MFA from the Program for Poets and Writers at UMass Amherst. He is a faculty member at University Without Walls at UMass Amherst and lives in Easthampton, MA.
Author City: EASTHAMPTON, MA USA