The focus of Fugue for a Desert Mountain, a collection of 40 American Southwest poems, is the intersection between lives and landscapes. I’ve tried to render the American Southwest as a stage, a vast canvas. My wish is to lean into a shared world and connect with my readers through images and emotions.
“In one luminous image after another, Jeffrey Alfier brings his photographer’s sensibility to the poems in this collection. As if in a lucid dream, “where Memory is a charred switchback” and “All distance is biblical,” the land and its myriad inhabitants, deftly drawn, seem simultaneously more tangible and more imperiled than ever before. Alfier reminds us that our fragile relationships with others of this world are essential to survival, both ours and theirs. Fugue for a Desert Mountain is a prayer, a warning, a remembrance, a prophecy—a book of poems that will haunt you long after you’ve closed its covers.”
—Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, Oklahoma Poet Laureate 2017 and author of What I Learned at the War
“Georgia O’Keefe said about the southwestern U.S., “The country seems to call one in a way that one has to answer it,” and in Jeffrey Alfier’s Fugue for a Desert Mountain, we understand what might draw a person to a desert landscape. “But we dare / to harness what’s wild, cut our own paths to breathe / this cathedral of blue air.” Though the land seems vacant and haunted, it’s populated with dust, sidewinders, arroyos, maids and clerks. Each poem is a snapshot that brings the wilderness alive while preserving it. Alfier is a caretaker of landscape, allowing us to hold and walk through it while his words keep us honest: “Invincible / heat will still you like a secret.””
— Julie Brooks Barbour, author of Haunted City
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jeffrey Alfier’s latest works are Anthem for Pacific Avenue: California Poems, Bleak Music — a photograph and poetry collaboration with Larry D. Thomas, Southbound Express to Bay Head: New Jersey Poems and The Red Stag at Carrbridge: Scotland Poems. Recent credits include Cold Mountain Review, Southern Poetry Review, and Hotel Amerika. He is founder and co-editor of Blue Horse Press and San Pedro River Review.
58 pages, 40 poems
Purchase Fugue for a Desert Mountain