Darkness on the Face of the Deep
by Patrick Reardon
37 Poems ~ 114 Pages
Publisher: Kelsay Books
ISBN: 978-1954353766 and 978-1954353763
To Order: Amazon
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Darkness on the Face of the Deep, Patrick T. Reardon's second collection of
poetry, is a kaleidoscopic pilgrimage, several layers below the skin, through the
world of wonders and woe that we live in—a world where angels roam nighttime
Chicago, and a sun-struck wanderer in the Old Town of Albuquerque ends up
seeking redemption in McDonalds, and Lamentations Road runs out past the rot-
ting mule in Weed Hollow, and a farmer tosses his sin stone into Lake Deuter-
onomy, slashes the throats of his cattle and heads to Egypt City, and a lost soul
waltzes with Goddess Dementia.
"For this stunning collection, Patrick T. Reardon has chosen as title a line out of
Genesis, as reworked by Bob Dylan. That mesh makes sense: in an incantatory
voice all his own, Reardon manages to mix the local and the oracular at every turn
of phrase. The poems teem with road names, ordinary and over-toned: Randolph
Street, Clark Street, Proverb Street, Ecclesiastes Road. What happens on and by
those roads can feel, in Reardon’s capacious geography, like everything that has
ever mattered in human history (“Bull Run, Fort Dearborn, Agincourt”) and in
literature too (“all sagas and Iliads, all Great White Whales”). Like many of our
most astonishing poets, from Homer to Ginsberg, Reardon knows how to make the
sacred gritty and the gritty sacred."
—Stuart Sherman, Fordham University, author of Telling Time
A veteran reporter, Patrick T. Reardon combines an analytical eye with a poet’s
heart creating verse layered with intrigue and surrender. Darkness on the Face of
the Deep weaves together the spiritual, abstract, and fully present. His vibrant po-
ems blend biblical imagery with modern angst. His inquisitive characters, comic
and tragic, find paths in landscapes of sorrow, joy, and fear. Readers will take wild
rides on juxtaposed associations, as in “African lion,” dedicated to Chicago poet
Haki Madhubuti: “Flame conflagrates still/those who have ears/to hear, raw
hearts, / —steel spine, / mother touch—/as when / he first taught: Don’t cry /
—John Raffetto, author of Human Botany
In Darkness on the Face of the Deep, Patrick T. Reardon has created an Old
Testament set in his beloved hometown of Chicago—a beat he knows well. In
this remarkable collection, Reardon travels the city's streets and alleyways re-
porting on a heavenly host of only-in-Chicago characters. Like a modern-
day Jeremiah, Reardon offers his personal Book of Lamentations, while providing
universal insights into love, loss, and life. Reardon joins other Catholic mystic
authors, such as Flannery O’Connor and Jack Kerouac, in exploring the eternal
mysteries while facing both the light and the darkness.
—Melanie Villines, author of Windy City Sinners, and editor/publisher at Silver
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Patrick T. Reardon, a three-time nominee for a Pushcart Prize, is the author of 11
books, including the poetry collection Requiem for David and the history, The
Loop: The “L” Tracks That Shaped and Saved Chicago. His poetry has appeared
in Burningwood Literary Journal, Eclectica, Esthetic Apostle, Ground Fresh
Thursday, Literary Orphans, Rhino, Spank the Carp, Main Street Rag, The Write
Launch, Hey I’m Alive, Meat for Tea, Silver Birch Pres, Tipton Poetry Journal
UCity Review, and Under a Warm Green Linden. Reardon, who worked as a
Chicago Tribune reporter for 32 years, has published freelance articles, essays,
and book reviews widely in such publications as the Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times,
the Chicago Reader, Crain’s Chicago Business, National Catholic Reporter, and
U.S. Catholic. His memoir in prose poemsPuddin’: The Autobiography of a Baby,
is forthcoming from Third World Press.
FROM THE BOOK:
by Patrick Reardon
She would not dust the glass tabletop
in the bedroom where he died.
It was the flakes from his skin
that had floated on the air, his dandruff,
the particles of the wretched remaining lung
expelled with tiny beads of blood
in the final coughings.
It grew thick as mold. Sunny mornings,
she sat at odd edges of the bed to see the dust
spotlighted in the rays for minutes enough.
Gloomy days, she sat in the spot,
knowing there was no secret to be revealed.
She fell once because she would not
put a restraining hand on the glass.
Her head hit the table corner,
and her light snuffed.
Later, the crew came, and the dust was watered
and wiped by a frantic cleaner on his work’s first day.
On the second, he didn’t appear.