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Kevin Clark

Kevin Clark

Kevin Clark's poetry has appeared in The Antioch Review, The Black Warrior Review, College English, The Georgia Review, and Keener Sounds: Selected Poems from the Georgia Review. His textbook, The Mind's Eye: A Guide to Writing Poetry, is published by Pearson Longman. He is a recipient of the Charles Angoff Award from The Literary Review. The Academy of American Poets selected In the Evening of No Warning for a publisher’s grant from the Greenwall Fund. Clark teaches at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.

Also by Kevin Clark



In the Evening of No Warning

In the Evening of No WarningIn the Evening of No Warning

$14.00 paper | 81 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-930974-13-5
Publication Date: March 2002
Buy: Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | ShopWMU | UPNE

"From its beautifully poised title piece to its powerful concluding meditation on 'Granting the Wolf,' Kevin Clark’s haunted and haunting In the Evening of No Warning is by turns celebratory, sardonic, and elegiac. Clark is a deeply thoughtful poet whose narrative gift is always enhanced by a searching and restless consciousness; his melodies are limber, his language scrupulous and urgent. This new book, his first full-length collection, offers ambitious analyses of the ways love and death disrupt quotidian realities as ‘dusk calls,’ saying, ‘before you write, know me.'"
        —Sandra M. Gilbert

"Kevin Clark’s new volume of poetry, In the Evening of No Warning, wears the anxious velvet mantle of Time gone magical with sleights of hand. What vanishes is us. Yet, the very passing itself, musical with its children’s hour, becomes the unthinkable and sublime refuge that all the local nostalgias gather about. Many of these poems are altogether sweet and perfect. This is a wonderful book."
        —Norman Dubie

"Kevin Clark’s poetry understands the limits of eros by experiencing those limits openly and thoroughly . . . And he understands passion for what it is, polymorphous, heartstrong and headdriven, not idea finally or ever, but protean force, to be ridden and ridden out and ridden again. Somehow this ecstatic poetry stops short of oblivion, accepts its margins, and seeks out the lovely surviving presences of marriage and family. I love this book for the flash and patience of its intelligence, but I learn what love is by the unique human occasion of it."
        —William Olsen

"In the Evening of No Warning takes risks born of a passion for poetry to do what no poem can: to reclaim us from loss; to restore ourselves as whole, at home in time, loved, and loving. The result is sometimes somber, sometimes exhilarating. From the very opening it reminds us that life is always risky business, all the more for a middle-aged man with wife and kids who has 'given hostages to fortune,' yet who still burns with the memory of past lives—and who gathers fitful hints of another, more radiant life just beyond us."
        —Stan Sanvel Rubin, Water-Stone, Fall 2002


Our Children Playing Catch in the Evening of No Warning

A nearness in the twilight, the lovely arc.
Cut grass not yet the scent of elegy.
Then the elegy. Then the years . . .
Now my four-year-old plying a small ball
across the floor at his nine months sister,
my wife listening behind her book, the dusk
rolling over the houses, the fingers
of my right hand unfurling to catch a ball
my father tosses a year before his death.
That old fact so dim today.

Such a thing to learn . . .
Not deliverance, nor elegy, always the white ball
in its sure circuit, the easy backward draw
of the glovehand. In the sky above my children,

I am playing ball, the warm crutches
leaning like a song in the dugout
as I limp for the batter’s box.
In the sky above my children, I limp
for the batter’s box and watch a soft line drive
float safely above a glove.

And so the forgetting floats on the small charities
of applause, the pinchrunner’s comic awe . . .
My daughter, my son elaborate in his coaching . . .

We can’t hold all the facts for long.
I’m still surprised how we stopped playing that one night
when my father went inside astonished, hurt
—the ball I’d thrown—
the crisp delayed ache when it drilled his forearm,
his whispering how it actually hit him,
that this was not meant-to-be.

There are no signs. That’s the problem.
As we stop to listen to the last few seconds of dusk
submerge beneath the evening of no warning,
it may strike us again, the breath
actually stricken from our lungs.

Then the nearness in the twilight.
Then the little ones in their time.