Starred Review. Paralyzed in a bicycle accident at age 12, Guest as an adult has turned his serious anger, his irrepressible energies and his sex drive into an instantly recognizable and passionate style. This third collection (his first from a New York trade house) comes with a blog and the promise of a memoir, which should raise the profile of these poems. On the one hand, the zigzag free verse portrays the poet's frustrations, twenty-one years/ into the telling of a poor joke,/ made of pain, nerves snuffed like wicks: No music but smashed guitars/ would be enough. On the other, the poems race, churn and tumble over themselves with a welcome, often R-rated, power of invention. Guest (Notes for My Body Double) might be Percy Bysshe Shelley crossed with Nick Flynn, or Neruda fused with Dean Young, at once perpetually dissatisfied and breathless with anticipation. A poem called Audio Commentary Track 1 brings in stuporous public sex/ at skating rinks and professional wrestling matches, along with lethally ascetic Canadian monks, then explains, To me each convulsive sob sounds like joy. Guest's fast-paced, sometimes even offensive third volume could be a poetry hit. (Dec.)
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“Guest takes the reader on a path like few contemporary poets offer.” (Chicago Sun-Times)
“A beautiful, breathless torrent of language that is dark or insightful or funny or any combination thereof, but always on the mark, always riveting. . . . My Index of Slightly Horrifying Knowledge is a terrific book. ” (Mark Strand)
“Astonishing.” (Jorie Graham)