The shelving has been piling up, so the recommendations had to wait. Today, we'll have three for you.
The first is Shattered Sonnets Love Cards and Other Off and Back Handed Importunities by Olena Kalytiak Davis. Here's a sample:
a small number
So far have managed, Not
Much. So far, a few fractures, a few factions, a Few
Friends. So farm a husband, a husbandry, Nothing
Too complex, so far, followd the Simple
Instructions. Read them twice. So far, memorized three
Buried a couple deaths, those turning faces. So far, two or
Sonnets. So far, some berrigan and Some
Keats. So far, a scanty list. So far, a dark wood. So far, Anti-
Thesis and then, maybe, a little thesis. So farm a small Number
Of emily's letters. So far, tim not dead. So far, Matt
Not dead. So far, jim, So far, Love
And love, not so far. Not so love. So far, no-Hope.
So far, all face. So far, scrapped and scraped, but Not
With grace. So far, not Very.
I'm hypnotized by the rhythm of this one. And she masterfully drops the Subject, doesn't she? The poems do a really nice job of playing with language, but still having an emotional and personal core. She never tries to hide behind language games, but she can still be at play with words and keep readers invested. Really good stuff.
Recommendation two is The Romance of Happy Workers by Anne Boyer. A small sample:
A Twilight of Minor Poets
(this is the cow with the crumpled horn)
I once thought we were beautiful because we were beasts
I once found some pigs, so rumpy and pink!
Inconsequential! Sublimely compelled!
Dork pigs, quasi-canonically bent w/ grunt syllable.
I once thought we were beautiful because we meant nothing
I'm a big fan of Anne Boyer's exclamation points in this poem. I especially like it when she shouts "Inconsequential!" at me.
And, finally, here's a little bit from Cathy Park Hong's new book, Dance Dance Revolution:
O umbilical blue sea's bob y warble,
en summa's eve, Sah y me scoota'd barnacle
boat off de shores, leaned boat's
salt crack rim to lamplight de sea.
We flashlight motion o silva fish swarm,
small as earwigs, fish scittilating en sync,
glinting into mouthing silva auroras,
a shadow flashing o form,
at dawn, Sah bring me ta tide pool...
Dance Dance Revolution is a tour through a fictional resort called The Desert. Many of the poems are narrated by a sort of Virgil-from-Dante's-Inferno character in a (as you can see above) hybrid version of the English language. It's a beautiful and strange book. Worth a read.