This book contains forty-seven poems by David Lavar Coy, written in his forties, a chaotic period. They reflect actual life and work experiences such as growing up on Polecat Bench in Wyoming, working for the forest service, a friend’s suicide and his own divorce. However, the poet is more interested in transforming his experience through his imagination then rendering a photographic image of it. He is trying to make the reader live the experience through his words. He definitely fictionalizes. Some of the poems come from Arkansas, Missouri, and Arizona as well as Wyoming. There are four groups of poems in the book, and each turns the subject in a new direction. In the first “Hair, Bone and Feather,” the strongest theme is man’s indifferent cruelty to animals, balanced with humor and love. The second group “Uncommon Ground” is largely about place: staying, leaving, inhabiting. The third group “For Love’s Sake” is of course about love— not shades of gray, but a spectrum of lyrical feelings. The fourth group, “Strays and Castaways” is not completely focused on one theme, but contemplates death. The mood was inspired by the suicide of a friend but does not embrace grimness. The poet is an optimist. He embraces life.
Lean Creatures Poems
David Lavar Coy has degrees from the University of Wyoming and the University of Arkansas in literature and creative writing respectively. He is the author of two other books of poetry: Rural News and Downtime to Tombstone (with David Tammer). His poems have appeared in Antioch Review, Slant, CNR, Widener Review, gulfstreaming, The Spoon River Quarterly, Intro 11, Intro 13, Poet Lore, Magma 34, Moon City Review, Poetry in Performance, in the anthologies Manifest West and La Llorona and elsewhere. He is a retired professor of English at Arizona Western College in Yuma where he taught for nearly twenty years. He is also a cellist.