Jesus in the Trailer / Andrew K. Clark


Jesus in the Trailer

poems by

Andrew K. Clark

ISBN: 978-1-59948-756-4, 74 pages, $14 (+ shipping)

Projected Release Date: September 4, 2019


Andrew K. Clark is a writer and poet whose work has appeared recently in Out of Anonymity–The UCLA Writing Project, Good Juju, Zingara, and NO:1, Number One journals. He is the recipient of the Georgia Southern University Roy F. Powell Creative Writing Award. He grew up in the small town of Alexander, North Carolina, outside of Asheville, where he now resides. An excerpt from his forthcoming novel, The Day Thief, was selected to appear in the Blue Mountain Review in March 2019.

Jesus in the Trailer is an intimate and sobering look at the South, at faith, at youth and aging. Clark’s poems are as tangible as red clay, with an appreciation for the rustic and a reverence for time. From start to finish, this is a truly captivating collection. You’ll return to it again and again. ~Ariel Felton, writer and editor in Savannah, Georgia

These poems pulse with conflict — desire and regret, tenderness and violence, hypocrisy and spirituality. “Red Lights” jolts us straightaway: “Sinister red Christmas lights/in the window…” Clark explores childhood trauma and sexual awakening, adult relationships, drug and alcohol abuse, and, ultimately, the sustaining grace of the natural world and love, as in “Frost Moon”: “where in the summer we lay/letting the green moss/grow over our bodies…” Deftly crafted and compellingly honest, Clark’s debut collection is impressive. ~Eric Nelson, author of Some Wonder and Terrestrials

This is a work about moths, Savannah, teeth, Prince, lipstick, churches, tombstones and everything in between. This is a poetry book that will take you places you don’t expect, with precise language. This is an author at the top of his talent, in beautiful form. This is a book for you. For us. Thank you, Andrew. ~Marcus Amaker, award-winning graphic designer and Poet Laureate of Charleston, SC

This book of poems is an invitation to fall in love with the poet’s presence in his time and place, whether you are, or are not, from the South, wishful or heart-broken. ~Miho Kinnas, Author of Today, Fish Only

Andrew K. Clark’s Jesus in the Trailer is a work of brutal splendor, in which single pages carry the weight of whole novels and redemption flickers in the blood and hay of childhood memories. Clark sounds the gothic rhythms of old-time religion and devil’s blues, alternately exhorting and confessing, calling us to burn bright and sleep deep–to hold close the ones we hold dear. ~Taylor Brown, author of Gods of Howl Mountain

Clark’s honed poems bite and leave us questioning our natures; we can’t hide in religious fervency or thru unzipped exploits. His poem Rebel Mama sears our conundrum, “and I know you, can’t get away from you.” ~Tim Conroy, author of Theologies of Terrain and a founding board
member of the Pat Conroy Literary Center.


where is the word
running from me
that one line
that will do it
the one thick note
from the cello
the hook from
Miles’ trumpet

the poem
the novel
the phrase
the sentence

where is the word that
will bring it
all together
that will altogether
rush over you
bringing its
sweet vibration:
the rattle,
the hum,
to the
you begin.



Red Lights

Sinister red Christmas lights in the
window of the trailer glow;
we hide in the shadows outside
huddled there in the snow.

In a few days we’ll hear the ambulance;
red lights flashing in your bedroom
in the trailer next door the thin man
in handcuffs; a monster whisked away.

Our eyes first met when your daddy
came to the store to beg for bread;
you stood by his leg – a powerful prop.
Filling up bags, papaw stared at your pink face.

On bright Sundays in the snow
you wear snow boots with short summer dresses
and sit close to me on the pew, a big black Bible
spread out on skinny legs.

All winterlong we plot our escape from the park
waiting on spring to push up through the slush.
My ears and nose are numb from the cold
but my hand is hot and sticky in yours.

Today, the rusty trailers perch on
shaky cinder blocks, and I see the nook where we hid,
two hearts hammering;
hearing the smashing glass of beer bottles.



Rebel Mama

Mama where you been?
the dust from the Wall that fell
taints your blue black hair,
pale skin hiding from the sun.

But you stand there setting the
world afire dressed all in black
your head half shaved
shoe soles too thick
clomping the concrete
baby on your breast,
hammer in your fist.

I follow you around streets
too narrow, down halls half lit
you shift the baby from
hip to hip
and I know you,
can’t get away from you,
your cassette tapes scattered
under Saturn’s rings,
ashes from cigarettes
long since smoked.

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