Dane Cervine

Dane Cervine

Dane Cervine is a poet whose recent books include Earth Is a Fickle Dancer (Main Street Rag), and The Gateless Gate – Polishing the Moon Sword, from Saddle Road Press in Hawaii. Previous poetry books include Kung Fu of the Dark Father, How Therapists Dance, The Jeweled Net of Indra, and What a Father Dreams. Dane’s poems have won awards from Adrienne Rich, Tony Hoagland, the Atlanta Review, Caesura, and been nominated for a Pushcart. His work appears in The SUN, the Hudson Review, TriQuarterly, Poetry Flash, Catamaran, Miramar, Rattle, Sycamore Review, and Pedestal Magazine, among others. You can read more about Dane’s at his blog: https://danecervine.typepad.com/

The World Is God’s Language

“If we imagine the world as a flipbook, each page—each moment—merging into coherence as it flutters through time, it can be discomfiting to try and apprehend a single, discrete moment frozen in the cascade. That is why Dane Cervine’s poems often create a sense of vertigo as the reader is lifted out of the surge of a fractious reality and given an opportunity to contemplate distinct moments isolated from the clamor and roar. Cervine reveals a sanctified world built of memory, history, and grace, where God is evanescent, transient but eternal, and where, Cervine makes clear, we are ‘just visiting.’ —Gary Young, author of That’s What I Thought

Whether concerned with family history, Buddhist and New Age philosophies, Bali, post WWII Hiroshima, or the marvels of the natural world, each poem in Dane Cervine’s seventh collection, The World Is God’s Language, shares a gentle wisdom that elects to whisper rather than shout. With deep attention, this work deftly navigates landscapes both physical and transcendent. Love. Sex. Death. Belief. All the big topics are embraced with delightful curiosity and openness. Pleasant or painful, Cervine treats each experience with a beautiful equanimity. These are wise poems that quietly proclaim: ‘It is a lush world—each wound a strange beauty.’” —Frank Paino, author of Obscura

Dane Cervine’s new book, The World Is God’s Language, is a raft for troubled souls, a balm for aching hearts, and a tree of koan-like wisdom nuggets to be squirreled away and returned to again and again. These prose poems often address loss and difficulties but with a lightness of touch that emphasizes the spiritual lessons they can embody. In one, the speaker tells us: ‘my wandering brother buys a house…caresses the timbers…like a lover. Like a body he could spend the rest of his life inside.’ Ultimately, it is this kind of acceptance and wonder these poems teach. Another reports a conversation: ‘I’m practicing dying, he said to his daughter, in his last days. I slowly stop breathing to see what it’s like, then let go. His words almost eager: I think I can do this—the way a young boy steadies himself on the cliff bank over a river, gnarled rope in hand, leaps.’ Dane Cervine steadies us with his attention to each word, his deceptive simplicity of language, and his calibrated spirituality—which outlines mysteries, rather than attempting to fill them in. These remarkable poems are Rumi-like pearls.” —David Sullivan, author of Seed Shell Ash

Dane Cervine’s poems cast their attention on the everyday—his father’s slippers, an orange cat, the last biscuit in a box—and find the extraordinary in what’s in front of all of us. Even when the poems take place in distant locales, Cervine makes magic with simplicity. Hand in hand, he takes his readers to the edge, and willingly, we jump with him.” —Patrice Vecchione, author of My Shouting, Shattered, Whispering Voice: A Guide to Writing Poetry & Speaking Your Truth

Dane Cervine’s The World Is God’s Language is rich with both wit and wisdom. His paired prose poems are like snapshots, each one revealing an unexpected insight. The poet’s perception of each moment’s synchronistic interaction with eternal themes reflects his grounding in the Beat tradition as well as Buddhist precepts.

Sometimes sexy and irreverent, always deeply philosophical, these poems are steeped in the place and the culture of Northern California while ranging the world from Japan to Bali, Indonesia to India, Central America to the American South. As we travel with him, Cervine’s capacious awareness subtly illuminates every experience. Generous and humane, the work in this collection reminds the reader that poetry can be both joyous and profound.

Read Dane’s poems

Read three prose poems that will appear in Dane’s forthcoming collection, The World Is God’s Language, in the Spring 2020 issue of Monterey Poetry Review.

Read some of Dane’s poems in The Dewdrop.


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