My gosh. This collection bowled me over.
In the first of three sections, Matt Rasmussen starts with treasures such as “No island is an island, / he said. There is no new land, / just the same body broken open.”
And “The lamp asks, / is it the shadow writing this, / the pen, or their converging? / The paper asks nothing.”
And “Then, as had always happened, / the clay pigeon flew away / and shattered in mid-air, / and I wrote this, / and this.”
Then the second section happened, and I was too engrossed and enamored to take notes anymore. I devoured the rest of the book.
This book is the winner of the Walt Whitman Award and very deserving. There is a central theme to the poems as Rasmussen explores his brother’s suicide, and so the collection is dark, significant, but somehow not heavy.
I loved it. What did you think?
Are you reading along with my 2015 Poetry Campaign? Next up is The Madness Vase by Andrea Gibson, a poet I’m mostly unfamiliar with. I hope you’ll track down her book and read it in May too!
I love Matt Rasmussen’s Black Aperture!! I saw him read it at Northwestern last year! It was so great hearing his story and reading his poetry–the best line is “the boat unzips the water,” among others. He has such a great way of describing his brother’s experience that it doesn’t leave us hopeless.
Thank you for sharing, Jackie!
Black Aperture is one of my favorite poetry collections ever. The language is so spare and striking, and yet I also thought that it felt significant without being heavy. I’m so glad you like it. 🙂
Looved this collection. I read about half of it, and then stopped to take it all in. Just sensational. I had too many lines and passages that I wrote down to note here.
The only sad thing about this collection is that it’s the only one by Rasmussen.