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Poem: ‘Under our boot soles’

“Under our boot soles”

In memory of Jim Thomas

Once you stepped out on an open window onto nothing we could see from our desks, and for a whole long second you floated and didn’t fall through two floors of air to the earth’s something. You never fell. You were just going smoking before class on the unseen roof. All of us saw you make that roof when you didn’t fall. You took drags, looked down, looked up, thinking. Then you stepped back through the open window and read us the end of “Song of Myself” where the spotted hawk swoops and grass grows under a boot. You were all voice, we were all ears. Up ahead words with hollow bones wait once you step onto nothing. We could hear.

— Dennis Finnell

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The poems in Greenfield poet Dennis Finnell’s new book, “Ruins Assembling,” are different than the poems he and I talked about back in the fall of 2012, when he had won the Bellday Prize, which included publication of his full-length collection “Pie 8.” Finnell describes the poems in “Pie 8” as “Fragmented. Shorter. Lots of little ‘quick takes.’” The poems … 0

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