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Harming Others
Casey Finch
Sweeping across the grave of an ancient empire, settling in among the manikins of Madison Avenue, singing for salvation from an earthly fire, Casey Finch's poems wrestle with the political, personal, and religious questions of our age.Arranged in three parts, Harming Others moves from a mock heroic voice in "The Empire Poems" to a more intimate voice in "The Damaged Poems," one that speaks to friends on their birthdays, wedding days, ordinary days. The book culminates in "The Forbidden Poems"--a retelling of the stories of the Old and New Testaments, a reshaping of religion and history in the present. The burden of human sin, like the weight of human history, is described in "Sin"--Like the blue, unreasonable sheets of ice / that spread out, strong and beautiful, / along the spines of the groaning rivers, / for years our sins covered us / and the parents of us: so cold / if you breathed on them they grew / still colder. For years our limbs clacked / with the weight of them. Our shoulder / blades and the noisy, matted locks / of our hair shook with the sound / of them. For years they hung from our / bones or piled up like heaps of blood. . . .
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