On October 18th we will celebrate the release of Tinker’s Damn, a collection of poems by David K. Leff.  We invite you to enjoy this poem as a preview and share our news with the poetry lovers in your circle. And remember, if you place your pre-order in our store, you will receive your book a full 2 weeks in advance. Visit our Bookstore»

 

 

Believing is Seeing

 

Posed with a pitchfork

before a board-and-batten, steep gabled cottage

with a pointed window, the American Gothic

couple gazes from the canvas in eternal taciturnity.

 

In the hushed, polished halls of downtown

Chicago hangs this two-faced symbol

of gritty, rural resourcefulness

and small-town rigidity.

 

I stand among millions who’ve stared back, unsure

what I’m seeing, caught between a kitsch joke

and a culture hungry for something deep, enduring

and blessed by high art.

 

A little battered and alligatored with old

paint, the structure still sits as Grant Wood

sketched it in a whimsical stop-the-car

moment. Having already been there without traveling,

 

I walked around amazed at its sudden

three-dimensionality, the sky as pale and luminous

as the painter’s pigment. I conjured

the grim-faced iconic couple out front, knowing

 

they never lived there, weren’t paired

or even painted together. But the artist’s sister and dentist

were destined to stand just beyond the porch,

married forever in a sacred, fractured authenticity

 

Not so much a painting as a mirror, this American

Sphinx is Old Glory and Miss Liberty,

has marketed greeting cards and television shows,

sold cereal and promoted politicians.

 

Patriotic fairytale more real than an Eldon, Iowa

house or two people who sat for their portraits,

it tells us stories we are starved to hear

because what we believe is what we see.

 

 

Tinker_Cov_fin_sm

Tinker’s Damn

Poems by David K. Leff

ISBN: 978-1-938846-15-1 | 5.5 x 8.5 | 100pgs | Pbk

Release Date: October 18, 2013

Order through our store and we will send your book on October 5th!

About the Book: Deeply rooted in place and time, these poems explore nature, the built environment, and human relationships with an acute sense of reverence and wonder that renews the spirit. Reserve your copy»