Awake In Sand by R. Nemo Hill


All of these poems were written in one of life’s hinge-moments, when change overwhelms certainty. Some are poems of surrender, some of resistance; some are curses, and some are blessings. The poems begin in the trauma of a present moment, but they soon dive deep into days past, inhabiting abandoned houses, gazing through vanished windows, holding orphaned objects. And although they are among the most autobiographical this poet has ever written, they’re also explicitly self-effacing. Let’s be honest, worlds disappear—outer worlds collapse, inner worlds dissolve, we are future dust and silence. This is an hourglass of a book, then—a book of dwindling echoes. Its true author is Time—and its nominal author, R. Nemo Hill, is but Time’s hard-working scribe, burning his ever-dwindling supply of midnight oil.


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 130
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: May 2024
  • ISBN   978-1-962847-06-3


Awake In Sand
for my mother

Here a hollow to drive a stake in,
to make a lake in.

A shaking of grains
of histories no sooner chosen
than riven, stricken,
swept and sunken.

O’ Terrene, Madre,
particular, requiem, dust,
impawed, imprinted,
then scattered. All that mattered—
a traffic of maps over sand,
a sea-fall of shadows on land.


R. Nemo HillR. Nemo Hill is the author of a novel, Pilgrim’s Feather (Quantuck Lane, 2002), a book-length poem based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft, The Strange Music Of Eric Zann (Hippocampus, 2004), three books of poetry from Dos Madres Press, When Men Bow Down (2012), In No Man’s Ear (2016), and Magellan’s Reveries (2018), as well as a travel memoir, also from Dos Madres, Just In Case It Isn’t There: Postcards From Elsewhere (2022). He is also the editor and publisher of EXOT BOOKS. He’s lived in New York City, San Francisco, and Portugal, and he’s travelled extensively in Southeast Asia—to Bali, Java, Thailand, and Burma. More recently, after living in his family home on Long Island for several years, caring for his aging mother, he moved with his husband to a remote area of the Catskill Mountains where they run a little indigo-dyeing business. He spends the temperate months of each year working in his garden, while the colder months find him indoors at his writing desk. Approaching his seventieth year, he has sworn to clear the decks of scores of unpublished manuscripts, and sail quietly, with a pocketed packet or two of perennial seeds, into darkness.

Additional information

Weight 8.7 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .5 in