Imaginary Logic

by Rodney Jones

A collection of 35 new poems that will reinforce Rodney Jones's reputation as one of America's most versatile narrative poets.

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN-13/ EAN: 9780547518299
  • ISBN-10: 0547518293
  • Pages: 96
  • Publication Date: 10/25/2011
  • Carton Quantity: 1
About the Book
About the Author
  • About the Book
    A new collection from a Kingsley Tufts Award–winning poet

    Imaginary Logic is a brilliantly expansive, deeply meditative, and at times wildly imaginative collection of poems that combines Rodney Jones’s distinctive storytelling ability, sharp social intelligence, and keen powers of observation in a book that is wistful, satiric, audacious, and remorseless. “The Art of Heaven” opens with a parody of Dante and a down-home, twisted humor that Jones’s readers have come to rely on: “In the middle of my life I came to a dark wood, / the smell of barbecue, kids running in the yards. / Not deep depression. This nice hell of suburbs. / Speed bumps. The way things aren’t quite paradise.”Rodney Jones, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, is one of America’s “best, most generous, and most brilliantly readable poets” (Poetry). Imaginary Logic is the most eloquent expression yet of his rigorous mind, scrupulous eye, and capacious heart.

  • About the Author
  • Excerpts

    In the Days of Magical Realism

    I went everywhere with invisible
    camera crew and musicians.
    Portaged by lust, convinced it was beauty.

    Washington, early spring, 1976,
    three girls moving away from the cab,
    speaking French, as I crawled in,

    and one, faux-blond, with pearls,
    decked out in hotpants and shawl —

    I saw her as a zoologist sees a pet
    detransmogrifying from a carpet

    and was wondering might this ideal
    suggest goddess, hooker, or model

    when the look she threw back over one shoulder
    rendered into stone the eyes
    with which I had seen myself.

    Voice Making the Sounds of Engines

    Aging imaginary playmates,
    arbiters of loneliness
    and childhood, have they
    fallen on hard times,
    sleeping under bridges
    and eating from trash bins?

    When I knew them,
    they already had wives,
    experience in the military,
    and full-time jobs:
    mechanic, truck driver,
    steam shovel engineer.

    In the shadows under
    the house of women,
    they used to help me
    with heavy equipment,
    laying out boulevards
    for a city of missing men.

    Idols, stooges, parrot
    and laminate of vox
    mundi, backfiring, doubleclutching,
    from this distance
    they seem stalled
    in the fifties and leaking grease.

    Except for the clean,
    well-spoken one,
    twisting his mustache
    like an appellate judge
    or ambassador from
    the commonwealth of mothers.

    And the rooster Caesar,
    worm-poaching with
    harem and sycophants.
    Vuden, vuden, we would go,
    and he would show us
    the nature of masculinity.


    The new house had the air
    of a stationary ark
    ready to set out: the flood
    a freshet in each faucet,

    the shine and lacquer smell,
    pecan floors, transfigurations
    of porcelain and enamel.
    Each plug-in was an owl’s face

    being attacked by a snake.
    The fear that he might slip
    and flush down the toilet
    balanced his wishing

    the Apaches could leap
    from the television. Meanwhile,
    since the carpenters
    had left a few light boards

    stacked by the door, he plundered
    the vacant house in the field
    for wings, six years old
    with an airplane to build.


  • Reviews
    "Middle age, masculinity, competition, religion, football, and the art of poetry itself spin together into powerful ironies in some of the best poems Jones has created so far: 'I had a dream,' one begins, 'of harnessing and exacting irrevocable power over others... in the cleat-pocked, dried dirt of a practice field.'" --Publishers Weekly