top of page

Bourbon and Branch Water

Cedar Koons, Poetry Bourbon and Branch Water

Autographed by Cedar

Includes Shipping & Handling in the US


“Written in the musically rich language of a natural story-teller, Bourbon and Branch Water delivers a well-wrought romp through family lore, “They were bright, funny people, hard- working/ and whiskey drinkers, mercurial/ ambitious, secretive and sharp, /always well-dressed.” It’s a description that encapsulates what the individual poems will reveal: flood-fording father (on a lark); a shoot-em-up pantoum with blood and guts and “grandpa” (the Judge); recollections of a mother who had “great legs” to match dramatic good-looks and grit; and, most important, a view into the tale-teller’s internal world, her growing spiritual awareness from childhood coupled with an enthusiasm for the embodied life (and this is where Koons' speaker breaks with the family inclination to be “secretive.”) We learn of her developing race and class consciousness in teenage; her sexual explorations under the eyes of Catholic school nuns; a pre-Roe abortion described with wit and blunt candor; and the speaker’s sister’s suicide, mourned in a sestina that hits its mark: “To take life quickly, efficiently, a gun/ is needed. Buy one easily in any pawnshop.” The gutsy narrator of these poems matures into a wife (there’s a hilarious poem called “Hippie Wedding”), a mother –– and later, a divorcee, (the cleavage between husband and wife in couples therapy is compared to the skinning of a squirrel), as well as a professional who flourishes within an ever-widening cultural and planetary circle of concerns. Bourbon and Branch Water is a poetic memoir with wheels, a savory and moving ride through an alert life.”  -- Sawnie Morris, author of Her, Infinite

bottom of page