In Douglas Valentine's A Crow's Dream “there is / No dark side to / The planet anymore." Other mysteries are ominous: “How much of all that seems certain / Could vanish with a word?" The natural world is tangible to Valentine as he prunes trees or watches “ghostly columns of frozen mist arise" from the Contoocook River in winter. Yet all is not lyric: Marvis Flynn, protagonist of a long poem that takes up a quarter of the book, parodies the Lord's Prayer: “Give us this day our daily dread." Sinister characters abound. The villainous Cadillac Jack compares his prostitutes to cars and strikes a match “across her teeth." Love is uncertain, although it may redeem you; and, as in Ovid, characters who seem stable change into other forms-birds, perhaps. Sometimes Valentine channels Robert Frost, sometimes old ballads, sometimes the Surrealists.
DOUGLAS VALENTINE is an American journalist and author of The Phoenix Program, The Strength of the Wolf (winner of the Choice Academic Library Award), and The Strength of the Pack. as well as two literary works, TDY and A Crow’s Dream. His articles have appeared regularly in CounterPunch, ConsortiumNews, and elsewhere. Portions of his research materials are archived at the National Security Archive (both a Vietnam Collection and a separate Drug Enforcement Collection), Texas Tech University’s Vietnam Center, and John Jay College. He provided expert testimony at the King v Jowers trial on the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination at the request of the King family.