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Beloved Infidel

Beloved Infidel

by Dean Young

“Beloved Infidel will break as many hearts
as cherry blossoms.”
Tony Hoagland, author of Donkey Gospel

Dean Young’s second book, Beloved Infidel, is back in print. His timing is always three degrees before top-dead-center. His language burns at a high fuel-to-air ratio. His poems should be on blimps, on scoreboards or even bounced off Mars. To not read Dean Young brings a serious malaise, like ignoring milkshakes or the antic wave. If you are in love, read Dean Young. If you have ever been in love, read Dean Young. If you are suffering from a disturbance which has not made the pages of the DSM-IV, read Dean Young. Then plan for a recovery requiring a set of speakers in every room and a fair amount of tribal music. Have a muffin and a soy drink and find out, again, that everything becomes small when taken together. Dean Young makes sex, pieces of music, odd notations, night barkings and many facts about turbines coalesce into something sensible—because you believe there are moments where the piano can be played to great effect with the elbows. Every now and then squeeze the little heart and the lord will help you grow another. Dean Young is a splendid contraption. When you read him you’ll uncover pleasing sensations throughout your rumba chakra. Boom shakalaka, boom.

Beloved Infidel
104 pages
ISBN 0-9676003-9-1


From The Author

Beloved Infidel is my second book but I really think of it as my first because it’s in this book that I felt like I was throwing off my (perfectly okay) education and beginning to write the poems I didn’t know how to write. There’s a lot to be said for concentrating on accessibility and there’s a lot to say for not worrying about it. In Beloved Infidel I began to address matters of poetic construction that still occupy me, the use of collage, the expressive possibilities of disjunction and tonal variance as well as finding my way to my own form of surrealism. I can read it now nearly without cringing. “


I love sitting here by the screens
as on the porch she tells a friend
how to choose a baby’s sex: diet, bath temps,
ways to lie. Outside a torrent wrings
three days’ humidity from the air. A few
in plastic ponchos spin by like winning
spinnakers while some relinquish hurry,
give in to new, plastered hairdos,
licked down to a quivering germ of life
like that moment as a child I stood
in a frothed-loose twirl of tree seed
as hail came down and the gutters squirmed.
Now, the unbearable heat broken, awnings
unbloat, locusts crank up their battery-
green volts and I climb the stairs I
heard her climb weeks before we spoke,
late, after she turned each chair upside
down on the swabbed tables in the bar
she worked, after she arrived, the chain guard
tormenting her chain. If I hadn’t fixed that
with pliers. If I hadn’t rented the rooms
below and my cat died and my friends
in Louisiana said, No, don’t come. If she
hadn’t turned left then left again. So here
in the clumping dark, my legs knowing
the warped halls, my fingers the light cords,
I’ll wait for her to come up from the garden
with cucumbers that have pulsed from seed
free with a bag of Bar-B-Que Fritos,
from an ordinary hole in the ground.

Dean Young has published many books of poems including, Skid (2002), First Course in Turbulence (1999), Strike Anywhere (1995) which won the first Colorado Poetry Prize, Beloved Infidel (1992) and Design With X (1988). A recipient of a Stegner fellowship from Stanford University, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and one from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, in 2002 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. He lives in Texas.

Other Hollyridge Press books by Dean Young:  The Foggist (a chapbook)

Photo Credits:
Cover Art: “Nipigon Window” ©Frank J. Hutton, 2003 All Rights Reserved.
“Praying Mantis” by Annette DeGiovine Oliveira
Dendrite Rendering courtesy of Dr. Frederic Libersat
Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience, Ben Gurion University
Author photo by P. James Fotos