{a call to poet Adam Hughes}

former {isacoustic*} contributor Adam Hughes has two new books of poetry, as such:

Deep Cries Out to Deep, Aldrich Press (2017)
Allow the Stars to Catch Me When I Rise, Salmon Publishing (2017)

please check out some of his work, here:

below is a review I wrote for his 2012 book, as such-

Uttering The Holy
poems by Adam Hughes
NYQ Books 2012


I think of God as a man in a chair at a desk having a hard time believing. I open this book.

Sometimes completeness is a myth
worth constructing.” – {from} Meditation on the Dried and Severed Back Leg of a Grasshopper

Adam Hughes writes as if watched. By this I mean with a fussiness that says in all seriousness the toys themselves are at play. It is in this manner that faith becomes more than the one-way prayer of the worried. It is in this manner one can apply degrees of gentleness to certain tortures, and unabashedly believe.

“- a gentler torture,
the castaway, alone, mouth open, collecting drops of rain, believing
that with enough ocean, the tongue will become a raft.” – {from} The Gentler Tortures

The thing called thing for being inhuman, he calls it God, and it visits to see itself dissected. Verse is a haunt of moving parts.

I can hear the voice
of deity speaking
some extinct language–”

I forgot to turn off a light
before leaving on vacation”
“whisper a psalm in God’s dead
language, and fill my head with
scents of departure” – {from} Kairos Hymn Fragments

Hughes is not a preparatory poet; the visit is ongoing.

The end is merely
roots, clinging to nutrients no longer needed, a whispered
narration as the wind blows the snowflakes. Tomorrow
I’ll look for a sapling and call it ancient.” – {from} The Art of Decay and Time-Lapse Photography

The book itself is a monster, wrestled. To the ground, offered a hand, and dusted off. It has a Prologue, an Epilogue, and a PostScript. Its middle is a local glossary of manmade words for the spirit and for the spirit’s mourning of all things tactile. Hughes finds the shards of glass in the footprint and locates the colorless apparition of the ambitious ambiguous.

I see eyes
in the acorn fingertips
of oaks; the spent shells of locusts
cling to trunks and remember
the feeling of fullness
one year later
constellations have migrated
one click of the telescope, stars that died
before the Flood are showing their
faces of death to Earth-we’re late
in mourning their passing “ – {from} In Anticipation of the Anniversary of a Death

If we are overwhelmed, do we overwhelm God? The last stanza in the poem Travelogue had me making a bed for that worried man still at his desk.

that night I hugged
my daughter, felt her glow radiate
through my body, and was thankful
for the fog and the leaves that enveloped
the mountain

As a poet, Hughes strikes me as trying to undo the knowledge of knowing what he’s talking about. Expertise is fleeting. One must root to the permanence of undertaking. In attempting to utter the holy, Hughes success is his utterance of a perceived repetition the likes of which the reader has only just heard.


review by Barton Smock


book, in places:



4 thoughts on “{a call to poet Adam Hughes}

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s