- Series: Free Verse Editions
- Paperback: 84 pages
- Publisher: Parlor Press (November 15, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 193255999X
- ISBN-13: 978-1932559996
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,558,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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From Publishers Weekly
The 32 poems and sequences in Clay's debut wrestle with the mythmaking capacities of language to explore the human ability, and inability, to communicate. An editor of the online poetry journal Typo, Clay casts his poems in a straightforward yet unceasingly intense voice. At the core of these clipped, fragmentary narratives is a sense of isolating overstimulation-which the poems artfully attempt, and fail, to overcome-emanating from other people as well as from a natural world that refuses to submit to human rules, where "the sky is so blue it crowds us near the ground." Clay looks back to historic settlings, such as Essex, England, and archaic language ("wine that hath taken wind"), as well as big-sky states in the U.S. to engender a sense of timelessness and space in poems of existential fear ("The only thing more frightening than the abyss/ Is.../ The thought that the abyss,/ That great rent of nothing,/ Might not be"), lonely musing ("Wonder, you think, ripped the heart from the rooster,/ taught the fish to take the hook") and thwarted love ("World's strongest/ bed-frame broken. O how I// loved you"). Many of these poems curl around bird metaphors, which stand in both for hope and despondency: "A male bird cannot help but sing// and softly add to the confusion." Though more attention to particular word choices and loose phrasing may be wanting here, Clay has nonetheless crafted a promising and compelling first book.
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From the Publisher
Free Verse Editions
Edited by Jon Thompson
Free Verse Editions is a joint venture between Free Verse: A Journal of Contemporary Poetry & Poetics and Parlor Press. The series will publishes three to five books of poetry per year, collections that use language to dramatize a singular vision of experience, a mastery of craft, a deep knowledge of poetic tradition, and a willingness to take risks.
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