A new collection from a poet of "wily verve" whose work is "filled with more satire and jeopardy than anything going today" (Terrance Hayes)

Mark Yakich's fifth collection of poetry is a dynamic and discerning journey of devotion and temptation in pursuit of the divine. Not trifling in ambiguity but diving headlong into it, Spiritual Exercises wrestles with popular gods as much as with personal ghosts. From autism to eroticism, from benediction to excommunication, and from grief to gratitude, this collection lays bare a full spectrum of emotional life, showing us how grace can be as playful as it is sincere.
KINDNESS

As you grow older, you think you know a little
Something about existence, like whether or not
You come from banana people. I don’t believe
I come from banana people, but that doesn’t mean
There wasn’t a banana gatherer in the family
Generations ago. If I did come from banana people
And, say, you also came from banana people,
Would that make us treat each other better?
Would the little we know about existence
Turn out to be more or less true if our ancestors
Broke bananas together instead of bread?
I don’t know. But here’s a thing: Today we’re
Most likely to eat one kind of banana—Cavendish—
And each comes from a clone, not a seed.

Mark Yakich is a poet, novelist, painter, and the Gregory F. Curtin, S.J., Distinguished Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans.


View titles by Mark Yakich

About

A new collection from a poet of "wily verve" whose work is "filled with more satire and jeopardy than anything going today" (Terrance Hayes)

Mark Yakich's fifth collection of poetry is a dynamic and discerning journey of devotion and temptation in pursuit of the divine. Not trifling in ambiguity but diving headlong into it, Spiritual Exercises wrestles with popular gods as much as with personal ghosts. From autism to eroticism, from benediction to excommunication, and from grief to gratitude, this collection lays bare a full spectrum of emotional life, showing us how grace can be as playful as it is sincere.

Excerpt

KINDNESS

As you grow older, you think you know a little
Something about existence, like whether or not
You come from banana people. I don’t believe
I come from banana people, but that doesn’t mean
There wasn’t a banana gatherer in the family
Generations ago. If I did come from banana people
And, say, you also came from banana people,
Would that make us treat each other better?
Would the little we know about existence
Turn out to be more or less true if our ancestors
Broke bananas together instead of bread?
I don’t know. But here’s a thing: Today we’re
Most likely to eat one kind of banana—Cavendish—
And each comes from a clone, not a seed.

Author

Mark Yakich is a poet, novelist, painter, and the Gregory F. Curtin, S.J., Distinguished Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans.


View titles by Mark Yakich

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