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Unsigned Paperback - $12.00

Unexpected Light
by C.E. Chaffin

The unexpected light in these poems is a certain sort of light: faint, slant, the light of twilight or a fading penlight or a barely discernible sliver of moon. Yet the poems pierce and burn.
-Kate Bernadette Benedict, editor, Umbrella

These poems, at once observational and prophetic, draw on the sometimes harrowing incisiveness of an empirical mind to produce an extraordinary vision. C.E. Chaffin is a poet of the body, but he is also a poet of conscience, a poet who infuses the lyric with a spiritual temperance born of experience. Here are words in service of integrity, poems in service of necessary revelations, and a poet in service of attention at its most elemental and unsettling."
-- Seth Abramson, poet

"These are poems which point both south toward anxiety and north toward hope, keeping the compass needle moving. C. E. Chaffin is a doctor with a physician's keen objective eye. His poems employ a music jazzed and melancholy, with a strong sense of dislocation and a painterly sensibility that resonate in the mind's optic."
--Lynn Strongin, editor of "Sorrow Psalms" and "Crazed by the Sun"

"Robinson Jeffers said, 'Pleasure is the carrot dangled to lead the ass to market; or the precipice.' The carrots are here. So are the precipices. Clean and spare, absent turgid image, these poems donít confound or perplex. Frankly theyíre too clever for that. The result of Chaffin's pointed observations is not clinical in any sterile sense, rather a dialectical body-lyric beyond, yet still beholden to, mere blood and bones. What we have here is a maturation of the soul."
--from a review by Norman Ball

From the book:

On Rachel's Death

The hole
in the ground
left by the tree

the hole left
by her life
or my life
or any life

always lacks
dirt enough
to cover
the uprooted
root-crown
again.

Loss is a coin
tossed down
a depthless well

you listen
for a splash
that
never

comes.

Tonic

I will love myself today.
Here are some fuzzy slippers
and a lollipop,
a warm hug and a wet kiss.
Let me tuck this
old familiar blanket
around my shoulders
and read this poem
before I nap.

Whatever I do today,
Iíll approve.
If I spill milk, Iíll clap.
If I button my shirt wrong
itís a new style.
If I wet my pants
it was on purpose.

My, how well I walk!
How well I speak!
Itís so good to be
good to myself.
Where have I been
all these sad, long years?