Blood Writing by Sean Sexton


Van K. Brock Florida Poetry Series (2010)

Praise God! An American poet who doesn't sound like the graduate writing school! -- Les Murray

There's a lot of blood, both human and animal, in Sean Sexton's stirring first book of poetry. His poems, which include several rare and passionate longer poems, evoke the violence and beauty of life on a Florida cattle farm with clear-eyed eloquence, and their gritty details make Robert Frost seem like a New England gentleman farmer. "If you would love, learn / the power of life" Sexton writes, and Blood Writing is a mature and Whitmanesque embrace of a fully realized world. -- Peter Meinke

Sean Sexton's book is a symphony of all the barnyard creatures. Its stories are born of a four-generation family cattle ranch in the king of the southern cattle states, Old Florida. Poignant recognitions weave a fabric of tales that are tender, agonizing, sad, sometimes wry and funny. Putting off heaven and hell as long as possible, imminent demise, the soul busy packing and things that are nothing all have their place. There are vertical knife-like stanzas to bring you home and as Sean says, he has nowhere else to go. With grit and uncompromising clarity, he sketches a tough life on a rough road with no detours. Tears and laughter occur simultaneously, revealing an extraordinary knowing. -- Drum Hadley


Blood Writing

In the place of horns
is that crazy writing
that says nothing,
everywhere in red.
expressing on boards,
fence posts, other calves 
  standing together,
   heads bowed 
delicate wands of blood, 
until the pressure slackens, 
factors of coagulation set in,
   and the writing
     runs out.


Posthole Digger's Dream

He knew something
inside her

like the softness

in the ground

at the bottom 

What he knew kept him working
when the digging got bad.



Then one day
you put the tractor in gear,
rev the engine
 and drive straight into the gate.

Watch the fury of splinters flying,
feel the latch and hinges breaking,
find yourself in a place
you've never been before --

the golden flesh of the wood,
and a little of your unfathomable will,
suddenly visible.

Add To Cart