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Midnight Stroll by Steve Cushman

Finishing Line Press
$12.49, paperback
September, 2015
Poetry
Available for pre-order from the publisher

"After reading Steve Cushman's poems in Midnight Stroll, I couldn't help but feel privileged to have 'walked the dark night' with this fine poet, while 'all around us the world slept.' These tender portraits of people he loves and others who have touched his life, seem like the soft whispers and revelations between the closest of friends in the most vulnerable of hours, yet the themes are universal and infinitely relatable. '...all I ever wanted/was to get to the heart of things,' read the last lines of 'Sophomore Biology.' In this poignant, compassionate collection, he has done so."
—Terri Kirby Erickson, author of A Lake of Light and Clouds

"Steve Cushman’s glittering, deeply affecting poetry possesses a Raymond Carver-esque urgency in which so much depends on the flight of a golf ball, a plum fight between spouses, and a nibbled bologna sandwich. With a poet’s surgical precision and his novelist’s knack for narrative, Cushman explores the grimness of hospital work, the vicissitudes of marriage, and his aching love for his son. In these slices of life, which are intensely personal and universal, Cushman’s drive is to find the 'beating heart' of reality. Midnight Stroll excels in its evocation of adolescent angst and adult wonder. You will recognize yourself in both the shadows and the light along Cushman’s walk, and his quest for meaning will remind you of the occasional magic in everyday life."
—Michael Gaspeny, author of Vocation

 

Out Back, Behind The Hospital

We shared cigarettes and jokes
talked about anything except
what we'd seen, the baby we'd X-rayed,
his bruises, his broken arm,
the way he'd opened his mouth to cry
but no sound came, his tears, his eyes wide
but still he didn't make a sound.
At 2 months old, he'd already learned
the importance of silence, so out back
behind the hospital, Fred and I talked
about the Super Bowl, where we'd
like to go skiing, our plans for the weekend,
anything but what we'd seen yet had no words for.

Steve Cushman earned his MA in Creative Writing from Hollins University, and an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is the author of two novels, Portisville and Heart With Joy, as well as the short-story collection, Fracture City. His poetry chapbook, Hospital Work, was published in 2013. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife and his son. Website: www.stevecushman.net.

 
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