The Radio Tree by Corey Marks
New Issues Poetry and Prose, 2012; 65 pp
Reviewed by Robert Torres


In his second book, The Radio Tree, UNT faculty member Corey Marks' exhibits a more focused trajectory than his first book, Renunciation, narrowing the range of forms explored but giving forth longer, narrative-based poems. Paying homage to Robert Frost, the books teems with meditations on natural forms, especially birds and winter scenes, examining how homes can become unwelcome places. From "Three Bridges,"

I'm the one missing

thing from everywhere. But then her eyes catch
on the swallows sweeping the bloated river—

Marks strikes his deepest blow with a tulipomaniacal triptych under which he hides some hideous secret between two lovers. From the final poem, "Fire & Tulips"

a slow and heatless fire
that smolders—exactly unlike memory—
with a mindless purpose to undo what it
never knew how to make in the first place.

The Radio Tree comfortably marries transcendental Americana with modern forms of free verse.