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Franz Wright. Knopf, $26.95 (96p) ISBN 978-0-307-70158-9

“I’m really looking forward to inheriting the world I have heard so much about,” Wright declares in “Entries of the Cell,” the long middle poem of his 13th collection. “Cross of Hiroshima// ash traced on a forehead.// The black dove sent out and still out there.” Here, Wright looks back on a life of writing (“Awareness of existing in a universe where death is real came to him in the form of music”), and forward to a vague afterlife—what he calls the “step to take beyond the final step.” But first there’s the “slippery, gory, and unspeakable slaughterhouse,” where “The truth is I’m not feeling so good;// and to judge from their expressions neither is anyone else.” Wright’s vulgar wit is once again on full display, in short and long poems, and a wandering prose of associative brutality. He takes time to reflect (“Music’s an idealized and/ disembodied nervous system”), to question (“When you die the world/ is going to die, the world/ and all the stars—// what dies when you are born?”), and to resign: “I signed my name./ It’s death’s move.” (Nov.)