“Abraham Smith’s Destruction of Man is a compass setting toward musics caught between the hungry teeth of vole and buried bone of river.”
—Tyehimba Jess, Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
Willie Nelson sang for Farm Aid and it didn’t work: this won’t either: yet Destruction of Man is a book: a book by a poet/farmer about farming and a family man and a familiar county–stung body; stung land–as told by a tweaked-to-warble farm machine that ate a human arm, and the chicken ate what’s left, and the hawk ate what’s left, and then the hawk died of old age. This is a book-length poem about small-scale family farming in the midst of the “get-big-or-get-out” mantra and foghorn. The conclusions are clarion clear: rurality has its hectic musics and all we have is love. In the words of Gertrude Stein: “After all anybody is as their land and air is.”
INCLUDES FLEXI DISC OF SMITH READING WITH ACCORDION (Emily Ondine Wittman) & DRUM (Craig Pickering) ACCOMPANIMENT.
PLUS PHOTOS TAKEN BY THE POET OF THE FARM HE WORKS AT THAT INSPIRED THE BOOK.
“I’ve been unable to decide if the best way to describe this book is as punk gone agrarian or if the agrarians went punk.”
— Juliana Spahr, Winner of the 2009 O.B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize
“Part song, part guttural wail into the American rural landscape, Destruction of Man is a breathtaking lyric that’s as complex and heartbreaking as the country itself.”
— Ada Limón, finalist 2015 National Book Award-Poetry
“Abraham Smith uses his words like a rhythmic sledgehammer upside the head.”
— Patterson Hood, co-founder and frontman of the Drive-By Truckers