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BEARABLE WEIGHT

Bearable Weight
by Michael Cleary
Publisher:
CW Books
(October 2011)
ISBN:
9781936370511
Order

"Rainy," by Kiki Kogelnik, 1977.
© Kiki Kogelnik Foundation.
Reprinted with permission.

BEARABLE WEIGHT BACK COVER


HALFWAY DECENT SINNERS

Halfway Decent Sinners
by Michael Cleary
Publisher:
CW Books
(February 2006)
ISBN:
1933456191
Order

Book Cover Design
by
Daniel Cleary

HALFWAY DECENT SINNERS

HOMETOWN, USA

Hometown, USA
by Michael Cleary
Publisher:
San Diego Poets Press
(September 1991)
ISBN:
0931289076

Order

Book Cover Design
by
Patricia Barnett

HOMETOWN, USA

 

 

Points of America Trilogy

MICHAEL CLEARY

 

Hometown, USA (1992)
Michael Cleary’s first book looks back on his family and country with a gentle but passionate eye: gentle because these people and places are recreated lovingly; passionate because they are shown truthfully, and in depth. Hometown, USA is a moving and lyrical debut of a fine poet.


 —Peter Meinke


Halfway Decent Sinners
(2005)

Perhaps every poet should drive a beer truck. Perhaps every poet should grow up with the rigorous rigmarole of Catholicism. If that were to happen, then, and only then, would a poet craft a book as funny, sorrowful and beautiful as Michael Cleary’s Halfway Decent Sinners….

The real and imagined, earth and paradise, life and death, all exist simultaneously in Cleary’s poems. And because of this amazing combination, he generously brings us along on his journey through this world of light and love and loss.        
 

Florida Review


Bearable Weight
(2011)

The “bearable weight” of Michael Cleary’s title…almost perfectly characterizes the tones and attitudes of this striking collection. Rueful, grateful, regretful, and joyful by turns—and sometimes all at once—these lines reconcile the sorrows and pleasures of a whole lifetime.

 —Fred  Chappell

........................................................................................................

Bearable Weight completes Michael Cleary’s “Points of America Trilogy.” For over 25 years, his award-winning poems have shared with readers the history, people, and places of 2 vastly different regions he’s called home—northern New York’s Adirondack town of Glens Falls and south Florida’s Fort Lauderdale.

His first book, Hometown, USA, won the 1992 American Book Series Award. Its title echoes LOOK Magazine’s 1944 series which profiled Glens Falls as the typical American town, a view corroborated in 1964 by Swedish National Television. Growing up among French & Indian and Revolutionary War locales, Cleary unfolds his experience against the backdrop of history and LOOK’s earlier assessments. Its final section, “The Sunshine State,” charts new beginnings in Florida.

In 2005, Halfway Decent Sinners continues to weave a Glens Falls past and a Florida present, with focus on evolving views of his Catholic upbringing and parochial school experiences. The results are by turns candid, comical, and poignant as he learns to value “this breathtaking common world.”

His new book, Bearable Weight, seamlessly merges life changes both geographical and personal, what one critic praises as “a skill for making his American experience both compellingly particular and universal.”

Cleary’s vivid word pictures, wry humor, and keen character portrayals make for lively storytelling, a heartfelt tribute to these unique American places and people who shaped his life.
      

Slaphappy

From all over the city, we met  
under downtown’s 4-sided clock,
        so glad
not to be stuck all alone
with family
        at home.
If girls sauntered by, we
mumbled dumb or blurted
        silly
the first blush of love songs.
Later, we teased our
        demons
with shoplifting dares
and raunchy jokes.
We never heard days
        ticking
or noticed slow hands
nudging everyday lives.
Summer showers tickled
        slaphappy
streets, and snowflakes swirled
like confetti around lighted dials
        as time’s
 tall faces watched over
 our pinball lives—
 sinful, blessed, scared,
        restlessness
 bubbling hometown air.

  
 ______________________________
 from Bearable Weight
 © WordTech Communications (2011)

           

 Blue Tarps

Wilma’s flung rubble and crushed trees
leave us putting our lives back together
one gashed roof and blue tarp at a time.
My back gripes to my cranky knees.
The world goes stark after a hurricane—
bare boned branches of gray
leaves and desiccated flowers
as if Winter tore out Summer’s
vivid heart in those ferocious hours.
My wife says, Imagine! We’ll have
Spring again. Buds and blossoms
even better than before.
Like a lost pet, it comes back
you love it more.

_____________________________
from Bearable Weight
© WordTech Communications (2011)

 

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