What Passes For Love

978-1-881515-34-0 Paperback
6 x 9 x 0 in
32 pp.
Pub Date: 04/01/2001
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Winner 2000 Texas Review Poetry Chapbook Prize
Few things will bring people together in south Louisiana quicker than stories, food, and festivals that have both. The poems in Jack Bedell's What Passes for Love show all that and a little lagniappe. From a midnight chari vari, to the Fete de la Roulaison (the Grinding Festival), to newlyweds making love in the cane field and fishing tales galore, Bedell writes about the many sides of Louisiana's Acadian culture and its people. Poem by poem, this collection builds an honest, evocative, and sensitive world of stories told by a writer with an obvious love of place.


Love in the Cane Field-After the Grinding
 

The young groom wakes to stars and October chill 
to find a trail of bedclothes disappearing 
into the children's cane. There's nothing left 
of the festival, save the smoke that lingers· 
above the burned fields. The cane's been pressed, 
the trucks readied for the trip to town. 
Here and there nighthawks skim the clearing 
for mice. There's no other movement 
above the rows as he gathers wood for the. fire. 
He tries to think of the evening they've just passed
alone, the lines of her back beneath the moon, 
the hope of money this year's cane will bring, 
but cannot keep his mind from what waits for her
between the stalks-snakes left from summer, 
sinkholes yawning for her legs, blades 
left carelessly about. He does not blink 
until the cane parts, releasing her to the clearing 
naked and smiling, stronger than he knew. 
In the fire's glow he sees a spider web 
stretched across her stomach, hip to hip, 
the shine of her skin against the night, her eyes 
closing slowly with each step toward him. 
Next year's growth surrounds them in the dark, 
and morning holds its breath across the fields. 

Published by Texas Review Press