Feature > Poetry > Thomas Lux
Thomas Lux

Thomas Lux

Thomas Lux was born in Massachusetts in December 1946. He has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon foundations, and the NEA. In 1994, he was awarded the Kinglsey Tufts prize for his book Split Horizon. The most recent of his eleven full-length collections is God Particles (Houghton Mifflin, 2008). Currently, he is Bourne Chair of Poetry and director of the McEver Visiting Writers program at the Georgia Institute of Technology as well as on the M.F.A. faculties of Sarah Lawrence College and Warren Wilson College.

The Frozen Ball Of Rattlesnakes

How did they get in a ball?
What do you mean by a ball, how many in it,
and do you mean stone-frozen?
Or do you mean dormant, sluggish, half-hibernating?
Snakes can do that.
A few creatures can, right?
Rattlesnakes live in other countries, too.
There are many species, right?
I've seen copperheads and cottonmouths
in some mountains
and a few desultory streams I knew.
I live in a large Southern metropolis now
and my neighbors
found a rattler (albeit a small one) in their cellar.
Killed it with a shovel.
They have a dog
and a baby.
In the frozen ball, do they wake up one by one?
Are those closest to the middle
warmer than the others?
They're all cold-blooded.
Lincoln used the phrase, metaphorically, more than once.
It's a good metaphor, easy to read, vivid.
Why does metaphor
terrify me so much,
and why would a man cut
another man's head off,
prop the corpse sitting up against a roadside pole
and place the man's head
in his hands
on his lap?

Book Review

David Rigsbee reviews
Stephen Dunn's new book
Here and Now


Stephen Dunn
5 New Poems


Stephen Dunn

Poets in Person:
Stephen Dunn