Given that one of my degrees is in Creative Writing, it should come as no surprise that I love poetry. I write it when my brain wants to cooperate, and I read the good stuff when I find it. Poetry is kind of like drugs: the bad stuff can really screw with you, but the good stuff, ah, now that will get you strung out wanting more.
Elegy for the Southern Drawl by Rodney Jones
I stumbled on this while picking books at Powells.com to use my trade credit on, and I am so glad that I did. Jones is an Alabama-born poet with a beautiful voice. The title quote is from his poem "A Coronary in Liposuction," and I swear it's going on the "maybe one of my tattoos" list. After reading this book, I immediately realized I'd read a poem of his elsewhere, and lo and behold if I didn't find it in one of my favorite collections ever: Working the Dirt: An Anthology of Southern Poets edited by Jennifer Horne. I picked that one up in a tiny bookstore in Monroeville, AL when we went home to visit. I fell in love with it, and there Jones was on page 164. Too bad I'm so broke, or I'd order the rest of his books right now!
While I'm on the subject of poetry, I have also recently had the good fortune to read The Alphabet Conspiracy by Rita Mae Reese. A friend and former professor gave me a copy, and it's wonderful.