Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

“What We Know Every Moon Takes”

A new book features work by two former University of Memphis professors: poems by Gordon Osing and collages by Tom Carlson

Gordon Osing is retired from the writing program at the University of Memphis, where he started The River City Writers Series. He is the author of over a dozen books of both poetry and prose. Tom Carlson taught American literature and creative nonfiction at the University of Memphis for thirty-two years. He is the author of Hatteras Blues. The two will appear together at Burke’s Book Store in Memphis at 5:30 p.m. on June 7 to read from and sign copies of their recent collaboration, a collection of poetry and collage, La Belle Dame. The reading will begin at 6 p.m. Other books by both authors will also be available for signing.

Excerpt from La Belle Dame

What we know every moon takes
them a lifetime to learn, if ever:
blood sacrifice is the heart of any
real religion, as the whole world knows;
it’s just them and their doctrines that don’t.
Men offer up their own sons to man-language,
put off the knife so that their god intervenes,
approving.They present a language maniac
with system and unarguable definitions,
that makes them like their god, themselves,
that rule behind the altar not on it, where
the knife is always raised to a death
not their own but guarding their gender
against us full of them in our blood