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!