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Prime Directive by Bryan D. Dietrich

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Prime Directive by Bryan D. Dietrich

Print ISBN-13: 978-1-926912-31-8
Editor: Rich Ristow
Publisher: Needfire Poetry
Pages: 148
Dimensions: 5.25″x8″
Cover Price: $9.99
Order Direct: Createspace


Multi-format E-book ISBN-13: 978-1-926912-32-5
Formats: html, js, mobi, epub, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt
Price: $2.99

Kindle ISBN-13: 978-1-926912-33-2
Price: $2.99

Now available through Needfire Poetry, CreateSpace, Amazon, Kindle and Smashwords.

Bryan D. Dietrich’s new book is about Star Trek. It’s about ten-year-olds and Talos IV, Kirk and Klingons, captains and colonels. It’s about a suddenly single Air Force father who introduces his son to a TV show, one that brings them both together, offers them both new life if not new civilization, preparing them both to go where neither has gone before. Prime Directive is a book about a man with Alzheimer’s who doesn’t have long before beaming out of this world, but it’s also about his son, father himself now, learning how to take the helm once his captain, his Colonel, is gone.

What they’re saying about Prime Directive:

“Bryan Dietrich is utterly in charge of the technical means of poetry, and wields them with enormous originality, brio, and fearlessness-if a form is ancient and extremely difficult, like the renga, so much the better. Dietrich actually possesses the knowledge-as well as the understanding and insight to make sense of it-that underpins our culture, our civilization, and our language.”
– Frederick Turner, author of Genesis

“A poem this long has to be broad and deep, and Prime Directive is both, examining fatherhood and son-hood and their avatars-creation and destruction-in many ways, but most powerfully through the astigmatic and revelatory American lens of Star Trek. It’s also a page-turner, a rare virtue in poetry.”
– Joe Haldeman, author of The Forever War



Who misses ten? Two
tandem five-year missions in
and still no command?

Who recalls their prime
directive, that age, all that
awe? It’s like the box

Spock opened in Star
, the Medusa within
that made him mad, too

alien to touch.
And since ten? Even the stars
have moved, if only

just. Walk out tonight,
look up and find Orion.
Isn’t his blue belt

a bit off? Aren’t we
disturbed how much the sky has
shifted since we saw

through more earnest eyes?
We move as Earth moves, swinging
our slow circles through

even slower space,
our flesh flush with tectonics,
our minds alight, red

shifted, turning arcs
across all we call current.
Yet we do not move,

not really, not when
we consider, as we must,
the galaxial

hub, that vast ballast
between ourselves and the eye
of our gathering

star storm. Riding glass,
hurricanes of noble gas,
hydrogen, old gold,

we are taken up
into the storied middle
of things, move outward

from a center no
one—not Einstein, not Hopkins,
not Hawking—believes

we need to explain
how far we’ve come, how little
we are truly moved.

Eppur si muove.
They say Galileo said
this under his breath

when God’s shock troops came
to take him away. And yet,
yes, we move. Chronos

eats his young, the stars
eat their own stones, the standing
dolmens dot the field

then wear away. Age
comes. Two old folk, a couple,
Greek, watch body parts

ebb out with the tide,
then, hearing some voice inside,
begin to toss rocks

behind them, begin
to build another race. Stone
on stone we stand here

like golems without
our maker. The sign we came
with, what has long since

washed clean from our brows
would only weight us down. Words…
we say them, we pile

them between ourselves
and the sky, we make up tales
to explain the way

we lost them, the way
we found so few in the first
place. We imagine

towers, whole peoples
surging over savannah,
becoming the stones

they couldn’t speak to,
the cities they would not say.
We mark each passing

the way poor Hansel
did, after the bread, after
the blue herons came.

We leave words behind,
stones, pretending they’ll be still.
But even our graves,

our tottering tombs,
too like the tumbling rocks
they can’t recover,

move with the wayward
waves that call us down. We speak,
we give names, whisper

against the dark, yet
sound, even sound, even what
we saw and then gave

voice to, even light,
what lets us see, moves toward
that moment when it

wasn’t. We are not
growing old. We are growing
into. Gravity.

As we fall apart—
we planets, we plots, we star-
stuff stuffed skin—we fall

together, slow, glow
brighter. Form from formlessness,
mutter made matter

Bryan DietrichBryan D. Dietrich is the author of a book-length study on comics, Wonder Woman Unbound, and six books of poems: Krypton Nights, Universal Monsters, Prime Directive, Love Craft, The Assumption, and The Monstrance. He is also co-editor of Drawn to Marvel, the world’s first anthology of superhero poetry.

He has published poems in The New Yorker, The Nation, Poetry, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Paris Review, The Harvard Review, Yale Review, Shenandoah, Open City, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Witness, Weird Tales, and many other journals. Having won The Paris Review Poetry Prize, a “Discovery”/The Nation Award, a Writers at Work Fellowship, the Isotope Editors’ Prize, an Asimov’s Reader’s Choice Award, a Rhysling Award, and the Eve of St. Agnes Prize, Bryan is a five-time finalist for the Yale Younger Poets Series and has been nominated multiple times for both the Pushcart and the Pulitzer.

Professor of English at Newman University, Bryan grew up watching classic horror movies and dreaming of becoming a comic book artist. He remains conflicted about choosing a tenure-track job over a chance to be an extra in Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks, but is comforted by several facts: the first person to be abducted in Aliens is named Dietrich, the composer for the original Mummy was named Dietrich, and the Kecksburg UFO incident occurred in December of 1965, just before Bryan was born. Further inferences are welcome.

Bryan lives in Wichita, Kansas with his wife Gina and their son, Nick.

You can visit Bryan’s website at: http://www.bryandietrich.com