Our Locust Years (2013)


Our Locust Cover

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Plugs for Our Locust Years:






“All of us who write hope to be owned by a self beyond the self, in an attitude of what Miss Welty calls honesty, a direct and contemplative relation to time-beings, transformed to figures and sentences. Besides which, as Miss Emily writes, the long haul, toward something we used to call eternity, resides in the moment, not in the clock or calendar. (I put it in the present tense because it does not go away.) Not also but especially in the briefest, the tenderest of moments, when one is possessed by intimacy with his own life, there is no more crowding an enemy than human time. The radicality (I know, there’s no such word) of Corey Mesler’s poetry is its presentation of the terrific values in pieces of being, in protracted moments of verbal attention, in images that make even the awful and perilous things we know—enlightening.”




Gordon Osing, author of Things that Never Happened










“Corey Mesler is a poet of intimacy and honesty with a gift for memorable lines and phrases such as “a chapel shaped like a farm” and “She entered my life / like a battered dresser, all / drawers open . . .” His poems are intimate, wistful, and often erotic. Though he does not go out of his way to establish settings and a sense of location, his poems are subtly and yet unmistakably evocative of the city where he lives, particularly of midtown Memphis. Everyone who owns a book or two by Peter Taylor, who loves the music of Booker T. and MGs and Jessie Winchester, will want to have Corey Mesler on their bookshelves.”




Richard Tillinghast, author of Today in the Cafe Trieste and The Stonecutter’s Hand.








“In compellingly direct language, Our Locust Years captures a later-life perspective on anxiety, nostalgia and regret. ‘Eight years ago / my father left // turning out the light / behind him, // leaving me to bake / a pie / with the scarecrow’s bones,’ reads the entirety of ‘Departure.’ Yet there is clever wordplay here, too, as a later poem declares ‘The San Andreas was / not my fault,’ and another confesses ‘I am the invisible man….I will / try to keep my appointments / but I might not show.’ With humor and heart, Corey Mesler writes poems of the most sacred purpose–to navigate a better understanding of this complicated, compromised, but ultimately precious world.”

Sandra Beasley, author of I Was the Jukebox


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