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Crooked Windows is a collection of poems that explore our longing for connection. Connection, in the context of these poems, is defined in multiple contexts: chance moments of connection encountered among strangers or while traveling, romantic connections that are often tenuous but leave a lasting mark, familiar connections that both trouble and define the speaker, and connections to history which, while often obscured, exert a profound influence on the present. These poems express existential yearning for connection with something even deeper: truth or uncertain cosmic forces. At the same time, they are contextualized by belief in an empirical worldview that undermines the more traditional religious frameworks of the past. What remains is a yearning for those sources of awe that might still inspire us: the looming beauty of the natural world, the heroism of human intimacy, and a belief in the power of love despite the odds against it—in evolutionary and interpersonal terms—ever having existed at all. Beginning from the speaker’s lower-class background in a trailer park, it traces his journey through disparate places and encounters and his eventual homecoming to the Pacific Northwest.
Dustin, Ryler, "Crooked Windows" (2018). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI10829872.