Carl Phillips is the author of nine previous books of poems, including Quiver of Arrows: Selected Poems, 1986-2006; Riding Westward; and The Rest of Love, a National Book Award finalist. He teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.
Brindled, where what’s left of the light finds him, he cowers in front of me: one way, as I remember it, that a body having grown accustomed to receiving punishment expresses
receipt, or a readiness for it, or—wild, bewildered—the desire to.
Above us, the usual branches lift unprophetically or not, depending: now spears; now arrows. There’s a kind of tenderness that makes more tender
all it touches.
Listen to Carl Phillips read the poem Island from his book Riding Westward.