From my window, I look out at Montpelier’s empty streets, trying to tune out the COVID-19 news updates that ping and bing on my phone, asking myself why this all feels so eerily familiar. I know this jumble of emotions. Fear, helplessness, despair, and also the sense that we’re all in this together.
Surrealism is a flight against Oblivion. Taking to the winds of Memory on the magical wings of the supra-real. Reality through an extraordinary idea of Reality. What creates memory and what creates forgetfulness, surrealism asks us to ask ourselves.
A visit to the hair salon every seven or eight weeks for me is the emotional equivalent of attending a high school reunion, the kind where two popular girls, naturally both cheerleaders, rush you in the restroom line, singsong, “Are you married yet? We didn’t think so,” and whizz off in a confetti of giggles.
Brown’s connection to intimacy is this: it dips and bends between tenderness and that primal vortex of humanness that burns in all of us—violence. Not that kind of malicious violence that we hear of on the news but the sweet horrible acts/thoughts of violence that spring out of love.
MIKE WHITE is the author of How to Make a Bird with Two Hands (Word Works), which was awarded the 2011 Washington Prize.
[Lehman’s] speaker embraces the world’s full expanse—its simplicities and complexities, its joys and devastations. He is a cosmopolitan conversant in psychology, literature, philosophy, and economics, but with whom you’d feel comfortable swapping lewd jokes over one-dollar beers before arguing about the merits of the Hegelian dialectic.
KATERI LANTHIER’s poems have been published in Canada, the U.S. and England. Her first collection is Reporting from Night (Iguana Books, 2011). She was awarded the 2013 Walrus Poetry Prize.
I like the way the world recedes deep in the night. I try to let it go, in the still house the entanglements of the daylight world loosening. Some flowers bloom at night. Some things grow only in isolation. Insomnia is the night gardener.
The book’s title is both an accurate relaying of mortal fear and a feint. Life can whack you to bits, and Halliday knows it, but his voice is so aware—and his ruminations so penetrating—that the poems offer a means of gritty transcendence.
He wore a slightly rumpled shirt, / its placket buttoned off by one
Vietnam can be written, said, and felt as Viet Nam, a being cleaved in two, aching to be stitched back together.