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Cocktails (A Divine Comedy #3)

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  377 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
kids everywhere are called to supper: it's late
it's dark and you're all played out. you want to go home

no rule is left to this game. playmates scatter like
breaking glass
they return to smear the ______. and you're it
--from "[you'd want to go to the reunion: see]"

In Cocktails, D. A. Powell closes his contemporary Divine Comedy with poems of sharp wit and graceful eloquence
Paperback, 72 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by Graywolf Press
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(showing 1-30)
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Nov 25, 2009 James rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry-poetics
This man is a genius: amazing vocabulary and dexterity of tone. Only he could make a sexualized Santa Claus poem gruesome and heartbreaking. Ditto the poem inspired by Hook. Awesome.
Luis Correa
Jul 22, 2011 Luis Correa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Always brilliant.
Mar 18, 2012 Nina rated it really liked it
Cocktails is the third book of Powell’s trilogy. The first thing I noticed when reading Cocktails was his signature long line length. The book is wider than the industry standard paperback. The format of the poems was somewhat off-putting until I started reading them aloud. Powell uses minimum punctuation and abrupt phrases. His poems have a hip-hop, or rap, rhythm to them, which increases the intensity. The rhythm becomes obvious when these poems are read aloud.

The collection is divided into 3
Patrick Duggan
Jul 12, 2007 Patrick Duggan rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
D.A. Powell is a master of using overt sexuality to mask an even more masterful underlying subtext. It's amazing how someone can toy with language in such a way a refrain can seem present within a poem were words and phrases do not repeat. Coctails shows the mundane and shocking complexity of everyday for a gay man in a city of brick and blue collar. Whereas Tea was a eulogy, a book of AIDS and loss and the lives claimed, Coctails is its opposite, its Whitmanesque singing. His approach to the li ...more
Khara House
Apr 30, 2012 Khara House rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Khara by: Nicole Walker
This was a brilliant, beautiful, and moving collection of poetic narratives. Powell cleverly blends Pop Culture and several other familiar references (biographical, scriptural/liturgical, cinematic, etc.) to guide readers painstakingly through the landscapes of life: through sex and sexuality, through memory and loss, through "cocktails" both drank and swallowed via a cocktail of anti-AIDS drugs. Powell doesn't pull any punches here, yet he does pull out all the stops, and while some poems will ...more
Aug 12, 2008 Zach rated it it was amazing
As I expected coming into this, "Cocktails" was certainly my favorite of D.A. Powell's trilogy, and I really liked both "Tea" and "Lunch." Perhaps I had been primed for this by my favorite two poems in here, both of which I had read before, "[writing for a young man on the redline train: "to his boy mistress"]" and "[when you touch down upon this earth. little reindeers]." Still, there are many poems in here to rival these. Fantastic.
Feb 08, 2010 Janet rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
What many reviews of this book fail to note is the 360 degree view the book has--not just elegaic, but sexy and funny and plain and lyric and human and every other damned thing. The best thing I learned from DA Powell was that every line of a poem is a poem in itself. There's some standard to live up to.
Jan 18, 2009 Kent rated it it was amazing
For Powell, desire is a many splendoured thing. Desire is every word that you can fit in your mouth, sometimes, at least if it’s giving off that keen, unctuous, sweet flavor. It all threads through the image, or homoerotic narrative, or pop culture reference. Desire is D. A. Powell and he describes it as soft, sweet, persistent rhythm.
Sep 27, 2010 Christopherseelie rated it really liked it
Fabulous. Some of these poems are almost incandescent with wit. That said, the patterns becomes quickly deciphered. I could write a D.A. Powell poem after reading this book. Not a criticism, but worth noting...along with the fact that musicality is at the heart of this collection.
Nov 20, 2009 Erin rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books from poetry class this term. Powell speaks on pop culture the way past poets have spoken about Greek and Roman mythology and gives ethos to new forms of expression of the modern age.
Jun 01, 2008 Katie rated it it was amazing
Brilliant, moving, amazing. I love this book and teach it often. Powell is also an incredible reader of his own poetry.
Feb 27, 2013 Fran rated it it was amazing
Pop culture, LGBTQ culture, movies, language, words words words. This is my favorite contemporary poetry collection to date.
It is an interesting book. It is really hard to follow, but this is its beauty. I really enjoy it as it is a challenging book!
Corbin Dodge
Feb 27, 2008 Corbin Dodge rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, favorites
I cannot possibly express the emotional reaction that Cocktails provided me with. His poems about being a homosexual suffering from HIV are are realistic and harsh.
Apr 11, 2008 Lesley rated it it was amazing
In my top ten for sure.
Jun 01, 2007 elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: poetry-haters
Shelves: poetry
This book makes me like poetry again.
Jun 12, 2008 Paul rated it it was amazing
I agree with Craig Teicher: Doug Powell is an important poet of his generation.
Crystal Curry
The only poetry book that has ever made me weep.
connie Voisine
Jun 01, 2010 connie Voisine rated it it was amazing
this is one hot, sad book. loveliness.
Craig Morgan Teicher
Dec 14, 2007 Craig Morgan Teicher rated it it was amazing
This is, I think, so far, the major book by the rising generations of poets.
Molly M M
May 31, 2007 Molly M M rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
He liked my poem. But not as much as I liked his.
Timothy Juhl
Sep 15, 2009 Timothy Juhl rated it did not like it
Shelves: poetry
I've had this book for a while. I ordered it a couple years ago after a refreshing review in one of the gay magazines.

Someone did the author a favor.

I confess that I'm far from an academic poet. In fact, I despise that 'ivory tower' verse that seems to be written for a handful of other academics. It is precisely this type of poetry that has resulted in poetry's unpopular status as an art form. It has been deemed unapproachable.

Powell's 'Cocktails' takes this unapproachability to a new level. I m
Nick Pappas
Feb 05, 2008 Nick Pappas rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people on the outside of poetry who want to get in
Shelves: poetry
I'm not what you would call a big fan of poetry, but the work in this book is quite good. Powell is a poet who loves word play, sounds, rhyme, and structure. This book of poetry about AIDS is quite a read, though the first third is the best group in the bunch. Thats not to say there aren't gems found later on in the book. From the egnigmatic title "Cocktails", does he mean the drinks or the pills an AIDS patient takes, this book will have you thinking.
Sep 07, 2008 Jennn rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
There were poems that I absolutely adore and there are some that just wash right through me. It was a lot of hot/cold. But I liked it for the most part. I liked how the tones changed, but the style remained.

He gets a point for mentioning courtesy clerks, but loses a point for mentioning My Own Private Idaho (a movie I personally detest).

Walt rated it it was amazing
Jan 26, 2008
Frioui Salha
Frioui Salha rated it it was ok
Aug 04, 2015
Hideaki Noguchi
Hideaki Noguchi rated it really liked it
May 26, 2010
Daw rated it really liked it
Jan 19, 2012
Janey rated it really liked it
Jan 11, 2012
Dara Wier
Dara Wier rated it it was amazing
Feb 17, 2013
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D. A. Powell is the author of Tea, Lunch, Cocktails, Chronic and Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys, which received the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry in 2013.

Repast, Powell's latest, collects his three early books in a handsome volume introduced by novelist David Leavitt.

A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Powell li
More about D.A. Powell...

Other Books in the Series

A Divine Comedy (3 books)
  • Tea
  • Lunch

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