With Wait, C. K. Williams displays a remarkable ability to reflect with acuity on a variety of subject matter, objects, and situations, in settings as diverse as farmland's back roads, a Paris metro car, and a Tsvetaeva essay. With sure and powerful diction, Williams culls object after object, situation after situation, in an attempt to gain the "real" from the imminent moment, no matter how hard a truth might be uncovered. In the title poem, perhaps in an attempt to distinguish his will from fate, Williams writes, "time . . . render me, leave me slop in a pail, one part of my body a hundred years old, one not even there anymore, another still riven with idiot vigor." Indeed, the vigor throughout this volume of poems spotlights Williams's singular poetic flair.

This book review originally appeared in American Poets, fall 2010, issue 39.