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from "Clayfeld's Farewell Epistle to Bob Pack" Beneath this mellow harvest moon, I can still picture you--a boy content just fishing with his father from a ledge above a foaming stream. The flailing trout you caught is packed in gleaming ice; the pink stripe all along its side is smeared across black shiny dots that seem to shine with their own light. I'm sure that you can picture me with equal vividness, and though we're not identical, there is a sense in which I am inventing you as much as you're inventing me. In Clayfeld Holds On, Robert Pack offers his readers a comprehensive portrait of his longtime protagonist Clayfeld, who is also Pack's doppelgänger, his alternate self, enacting both the life that the poet has lived and the life he might have lived, given his proclivities and appetites. Poet and protagonist, taken together, are self and consciousness of self, the historical self and the embellished story of that literal self. Written with a masterly ear for rhythm, and interweaving narrative and lyrical passages, the poems recount Clayfeld's formative memories while exploring concepts such as loyalty, generosity, commitment, as well as cosmic phenomena such as the big bang theory and black holes. Through all of this, Pack attempts to find purpose and meaning in an indifferent universe, and to explore the labyrinth of his own proliferating identity.
To be press secretary for the American President is to be uniquely in the know about all that happens in the most important office on earth, the White House. For six years-- longer than any of his predecessors save for Jim Haggerty, Eisenhower's secretary-- Larry Speakes occupied this hot seat for President Ronald Reagan. Now, in his aptly titled account, Speakes recounts the inside story of the Reagan presidency with candor and an uninhibited independence that make Speaking Out not only captivating and sometimes shocking but also essential reading for Americans who want to learn about the untold story of the Reagan administration. Speakes, already a veteran press officer for Presidents Nixon and Ford and Senators Dole and Eastland, took over in 1981, the day chief spokesman Jim Brady was shot in the Hinckley assassination attempt on President Reagan. Now, he takes us behind the scenes to tell what really happened -- in the Reagan-Gorbachev summits, the hostage crisis, the Marcos ouster, the Lebanon Embassy bombing, Reagan's cancer, the KAL-007 shootdown, the Achille Lauro incident, the Daniloff affair, the Libyan bombing, the Challenger disaster, the Iran-Contra affair. Larry Speakes is a down-home Mississippian and has the Southerner's special gift for anecdote and an unerring shrewdness about people coupled with earthy humor.