The Sky Needs More Work

31 July 2014

Released 31 July 2014.

  • Out of print.
  • ISBN 978-1-937794-72-9 (print) is available used at Amazon (Canada; USA). Signed / inscribed copies can be ordered from the author’s bookstore here for a limited time.
  • ISBN 978-1-937794-42-2 (epub).
  • ISBN 978-1-937794-40-8 (mobi).
  • Discuss this book at Goodreads.

With poems like “Strictly Blowjob” and “The Cancer of Believing You’re in Control,” acclaimed writer Corey Mesler has made a book that adjoins sex, love and social connection in their many manifestations, from meditations on The Beatles, death, pharmacology, and infidelity, to “the holycow feeling/of just being human and/satisfied like a goddamn poem.”

From The Sky Needs More Work:


She drove me to a playground
behind a church.

There underneath the rocking
swings she sat

astride me, taking my root
roughly into her

body like a philter. I bucked
against her, the

ground was hard and cold.
Later she would be too.

But, for a while, illicitly she
carried me around like

a stone. She was in love with
my smile, my talk,

my ability to not be her husband.

Poems from the book available online:

These links all open in a new window.

Reviews of The Sky Needs More Work:

In “The Last Poem,” we are once again in dialogue with the same universal editor as in “Dear Editor,” and while the self-effacing tone still lingers, there is an element of hope in the newfound desire of the speaker to get his words, those turbulent ghosts, published. “The End of the Year of Darkness” sums it up best: “What is/lost is lost” and “What I create is good,” and what Mesler managed to create in these 88 pages is beyond good.

—A.J. Huffman, “The Sky Needs More Work by Corey Mesler,” REviews, Summer 2014.

If you are a lover of human experience, I highly recommend this book of poetry!

—Sharra Rosichan, “Book Review: The Sky Needs More Work by Corey Mesler,” Odds and Ends, 27 August 2014.

…the subject matter is dripping with delicious verbal concoctions… This book is not to be missed.

—Susan Cushman, “Writing on Wednesday: The holycow feeling of just being human. Or today we burn clouds.,” Pen & Palette, 23 July 2014

Mesler’s is again a poetry manifesting, indeed, sustaining—the Memphis school. Wm. Carlos Williams and numerous others would find it substantial and elucidating of the all the contraries to the idealized lumpen life. The bottom falls away from it, the foundations, the bases, and one is put on notices to be aware of what lives live within the one we live. Merely by seeing in language. A poetry that does not need explaining, abjures it explicitly.

—Gordon Osing, author of Theaters of Skin, and La Belle Dame

Critical Praise for Corey Mesler:

Corey Mesler is that rarest of things: a truly fun, literary writer.

—C. L. Bledsoe, “The Lit Report,” Prick of the Spindle, September 2013

Mesler repeatedly examines the flip-side of the coins laid over the eyes of pain and find laughter.

—Steve Stern, author of the Jewish Book Award-winning, The Wedding Jester, praising The Catastrophe of my Personality

Mesler’s poems bear a family resemblance to the excellent poetry of Kay Ryan and Tim Suermondt but chances are you have not read poems exactly like his. Inimitable, sometimes surreal or synthetic (joining the possible with the impossible), never illogical but willing to take brave leaps, his poems are as individual as he is, original, engaging, goofy, and smart as blazes.

—Kelly Cherry, author of The Life and Death of Poetry: Poems, praising The Catastrophe of my Personality

Not also but especially in the briefest, the tenderest of moments, when one is possessed by intimacy with his own life, there is no more crowding an enemy than human time. The radicality (I know, there’s no such word) of Corey Mesler’s poetry is its presentation of the terrific values in pieces of being, in protracted moments of verbal attention, in images that make even the awful and perilous things we know—enlightening.

—Gordon Osing, author of Things that Never Happened, praising Our Locust Years

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