Best Thing I’ve Read This Week: Ian Huebert

4 Apr

If you don’t recognize the name Ian Huebert, you probably have, at least, seen his work. Most recently, Huebert designed the cover for Matthew Zapruder’s newest collection of poems Sun Bear (Copper Canyon, 2014). He also created the cover art for Dan Chelott’s X (McSweeney’s, 2013), Jeff Alessandrelli’s Don’t Let Me Forget to Feed the Sharks (Poor Claudia, 2012), and is the primary cover artist for the chapbooks released by Dikembe Press.

In addition to designing covers for collection of contemporary poetry, though, Huebert also is an accomplished cartoonist and minimalist poet. Over the course of the past year or two, he has self-published a limited-run chapbook series of his drawings and poetry, titled Comb. Take a look at the below excerpt from issue one (click for large view):
Ian
One of my favorite aspects of the above image is how the text of the poem appears to both rupture the aesthetic surface of the cartoon, while simultaneously integrating itself into the image rather seamless. At least as a visual text, its ability to look both coherent and fractured is something that pleases me. (My critical vocabulary for visual art is limited, so my apologies for any idiomatic lack.)

As far as the poem itself, I enjoy how Huebert transforms a rather benign, childhood activity, such as climbing a “cherry tree,” into a “base,” sexual experience. Likewise, the wordplay via repetition and difference (i.e. “said” and “saying) and homonyms (i.e. “right”) adds another dimension of linguistic depth within the rather small space of ten lines.

Moreover, the sexual transformation that occurs in the poem alters our interpretation of the image; a child peeking through a hole in a fence becomes a moment of voyeuristic, sexual gratification instead of an innocent moment of childhood “spying.”

If you’d like to purchase a copy of issues one and two of Comb, or any of the other various woodcuts and prints Huebert has made, check out both his website or his tumblr account. You can also find a handful of Huebert’s poems in this year’s Lovebook by SP CE.

Awful Interview: Daniel Lamb

4 Apr

Daniel Lamb!

This is Daniel Lamb – a member of the literati in Atlanta, and a contributor over at The Five-Hundred! He’ll be reading at the next Vouched Presents at the Goatfarm on April 10th. (The reading that was delayed by an epic ice storm) in the spirit of that reading, he let me interview him waaaaaaaay back in February. It went pretty well. We talked about bars a lot. Come see him read, yeah?

Vouched: So Daniel, you work at Manuel’s Tavern, right? What’s it like to work with a chicken coop over your head?

Yes, I’m one of the weekend day-time bartenders; I’ve been there for a few years now.  It’s a really different kind of bar- there are always actors and musicians and writers hanging out there, as well as a really eclectic older crowd of politicians, business folk, lawyers, and crazies. It’s a pretty good place to work if you want to collect ideas for fiction work.  At first, I had my doubts about the chicken coop.  When the owner, Brian announced to the staff that we were building a roof-top chicken coop, people started looking bewildered and, quite frankly, a little grossed out.  I wasn’t sure if this was a serious deal or just a crackpot notion.  I was very, very wrong- obviously, you can see the coop today from the street. That project took about six or eight months to come to fruition.  A few months back, Brian brought in some baby chicks when the coop was yet in its infancy, and I was sold.  Those little birds brought a sense of hope and wonder to the place.  I get to tell the chicken story a lot these days while I’m working, and people have a really childlike curiosity in their voices when they ask the chicken question.  Now, if you’re lucky enough to stop by when Brian is around, he’ll talk you into going up on the roof and visiting the hens and the super green sustainable luxury coop they live in.  They are very social and like the attention.  They will peck your feet and untie your shoelaces.  Their eggs have been helping business, too.  We use the eggs during brunch, and they’re quite tasty- we sold out last week.  If you really want to read more about the chickens, the coop, and the eggs, there’s a lengthy post on the Manuel’s Tavern Facebook page.

 

Vouched: Who are some of your favorite regulars? How does working at the bar influence your writing work?

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some really interesting people.  It’s always really nice to see my friends come in to the bar.  Having said that, some of my favorite regular customers are people who I probably wouldn’t cross paths with socially, by circumstance, not virtue.  There’s this guy we call Angry Dan.  He’s in the construction business, and sometimes he’s angry- but he’s a really interesting guy who loves to talk about music, especially classic blues and rock, and likes sharing his knowledge.  There’s a couple, Harriet and Doug, who some of us call the Tavern grandparents.   They’re residents of Candler Park and they’ve been patrons since the 1950’s.  Harriet likes to order a “grandma beer,” which is a Yuengling in a short glass.  Her husband prefers pints.  My very favorite customers always have a story to tell.   Author Charles McNair frequents the Tavern and is always very encouraging.  I wait on GIE (Government in Exile) and the Seed-N-Feed Marching Abominable most Tuesday nights- both of these groups are comprised of some of the most intense personalities in Atlanta, and the keep me on my toes.  I really like waiting on the Metro Atlanta Task Force For The Homeless- Jim and Anita are two of my favorite people in Atlanta- Anita always brings me a hug when she stops by.  I also love the literary crowd that inevitably comes in after Write Club or Scene Missing- there’s always hullabaloo when Nick Tecosky, Myke Johns, Jason Mallory and their posse come by.  I know I’m probably forgetting some key people here, but there are just so damn many of them!

 

I don’t write much about the Tavern in my fiction or about the people I’ve met through work, but working behind the bar has made me a much better listener.  I think, as a writer, listening is definitely more important that talking.  As a writer, I have all the time in the world to think about what I am going to say, but I don’t know how much time I’ll have to hear what others have to say.  People in bars are very generous in telling their stories, and when I have the time to really listen, it’s like reading some of my favorite authors- it can be a transcendent experience, and ultimately, it’s part of how I make a living.

 

Vouched: Man, I need to hang around Manuel’s more often. Sounds like you have some incredible folks there. What are you working on these days?

I’m still feeling the effects of Write Club victory euphoria at the moment.  I’m wearing a few different hats right now, writing-wise.  I’m in the Rhetoric & Composition undergrad program at Georgia State, so I’m writing lots of papers, and  I’m  the ads and specials items that go up on Manuel’s Facebook page on the weekends.  I have a some writing assignments I am working on for a couple of live lit events that are coming up: a book review for an online magazine, Scene Missing (The Show) in February and the Vouched Books reading next month.  I am writing primarily short stories, some fiction and some creative non fiction.  Ideally, I’d like to find a home for some of these pieces.  Some of the stuff I’ve done is over at Scene Missing and some at The Five Hundred.  For a while I was tossing everything I wrote up on my blog, but maybe it’s not the safest bet to throw everything up there, all willy-nilly.  Back in November, I attempted NanoWriMo, and “lost” pretty bad, but I mined a lot of ideas.  I’m still sifting through what’s there to mold more short stories, and composing a little music (for fun) on the side.  I have a vague idea for a web-based chapbook that would pair flash fiction stories with soundtrack-like audio via soundcloud, but I’m still meditating on that one.  All in all, I’m keeping busy and trying  to find the stories and tell them in the best way I know how.

 

Vouched: Sounds like a lot of good stuff in the works, then. Tell us – what are you most looking forward to about the reading?

I think what’s really exciting is the interest people are taking in the literary community in Atlanta.  It’s really exciting to become a part of this body of creators that really is very supportive- everyone I come in contact with is really engaged in the discovery of new, good writing.  People have a lot of options as to how they spend their limited free time, and it’s awesome to see crowds patronizing these readings around town.  About The Five Hundred:  I really like a lot of the stories that I read there, and I’ve really enjoyed writing the pieces I’ve done for the publication.  What’s interesting about the whole thing is that it’s kind of an online writer’s workshop.  Everyone comments on one another’s work, offering suggestions on how to make these pieces into stronger, clearer works of fiction.  Flash fiction is a genre I really enjoy reading, partially because of my exceedingly short attention span, and partially because of the intensity that a 500 word story brings.  There’s a sense of urgency with flash fiction that longer work doesn’t necessarily lack, but the flash narrative really captures.  I’m excited to meet some of these writers (very good ones) that I’ve been reading and with whom I’ve corresponded.  Some of these folks are quite accomplished writers, and I’m humbled to be invited to read along side them.

Best Thing I’ve Read Today: 2014 Argos Poetry Calendar

2 Apr

The past two years, Argos Books–which is run by E.C. Belli, Iris Cushing, and Elizabeth Clark Wessel out of Brooklyn, NY–has released a limited-edition, monthly poetry calendar.

This year’s version contains poems by Kazim Ali, Sommer Browning, Christophe Casamassima, Don Mee Choi, Ryan Eckes, Farrah Field, Joan Kane, Bhanu Kapil, Rachel Levitsky, Anna Moschovakis, Jared White, and Simone White. The illustrations were drawn by Essye Klempner.

This month’s poem is Ryan Eckes’ “chase scene #10,” an image of which is below (click for a larger view):

photo (20)

While we’re already in the fourth month of the year, consider ordering one of these wonderful artifacts to hang on your wall so that you may pencil-in (and not forget) trips to the tropical fish store and next your Laser Tag outing.

Best Thing I’ve Heard/Read This Week: Tyrone Williams

28 Mar

adventures-of-pi-lgYesterday, the poet and critic Tyrone Williams traveled from Cincinnati to Cleveland in order to read and discuss his poems at Case Western Reserve University for the Poets of Ohio reading series. Below is an excerpt from my introduction, along with a video clip from the event:

In late-2002, I began actively exploring the world of contemporary poetry. As a way to discover the names of poets, presses, and different aesthetics that interested me, I started reading pretty much any literary journal I could get my hands on. After a few months of scouring the small press and magazine section at Tattered Cover in downtown Denver, I found myself gravitating toward journals such as The Canary, Denver Quarterly, Fence, jubilat, Open City, and Verse.

In one of these magazines, the Fall/Winter 2003 issue of Fence, an article by Rodeny Phillips appeared that was titled “Exotic flowers, decayed gods, and the fall of paganism: The 2003 Poets House Poetry Showcase, an exhibit of poetry books published in 2002.” In addition to providing a comprehensive overview of the showcase, several sidebars located in the article’s margins offered “Best Of” lists: “Best Books of Experimental Poetry” and “Best Debut Collections,” for example. While each list contained a series of names and titles with which I was unfamiliar—but, subsequently, over the years would become intimately familiar—one name caught my attention due to the fact that it found its way onto no less than three of these lists (if my memory serves me correctly): Tyrone Williams and his first book c.c., published by Krupskaya Press.

Given that the Phillips article championed this poet and collection to such a high degree, I went online and ordered a copy. When the book finally arrived and I read through it, I was confronted with a style of poetry that was theretofore unknown to me. The writing in Williams’ first book employed radical notions of form, citation, appropriation, and marginalia, all the while remaining socially, politically, and culturally engaged. This, indeed, was not the type of poetry I had previously encountered (even with exposure to the High Modernists); no, this was something more daring, complex, and exciting. The poems of c.c., such as “Cold Calls,” “I am not Proud to be Black,” and “TAG” were avant-tour de forces that acted as catalysts for my own interest, involvement, and dedication to poetry over the course of the next twelve years.

In 2008, Omnidawn Publishing released Williams’ second book of poetry On Spec, which I would later use for my comprehensive exams as I pursued my doctorate. In a citation of his book that I wrote in 2010, I argued that the collection “explores the confluence of post-Language poetry and African-American poetic tradition” by entwining “diverse aesthetic and ideological lineages” through the use of “different idioms and whose contents are often thought to be at odds with one another.” Moreover, I noted the book’s “conflation of genres,” wherein the poems sought to “question the relationship between theory and poetry,” as well as drama; in doing so, Williams created a “transitional and often nebulous zone.” These “boundary-defying techniques” were further highlighted in his “use of check-boxes, errata and footnotes…mathematical equations, cross-outs, quotation, and liberal use of white space.”

Most recently, his 2011 collection Howell (Atelos Press), which is a reference to Howell, Michigan and conceived in the wake of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, is an epic “writing through” of history that extends to nearly 400 pages in length.

For our course this semester, though, we read Williams’ Adventures of Pi: Poems 1980-1990. The collection takes a backward glance at the poet’s work, thus functioning as an interesting prequel in the development of a contemporary, poetic innovator. And although it does serve to flesh out his career trajectory, Adventures of Pi also offers readers engaging moments wherein the poet confronts the racial fissures in then-contemporary America in a straightforward but aesthetically compelling manner. Take, for instance, the following excerpt from his poem “White Noise (Fighting to Wake Up)”:

of a body dreaming two dreams,
only one of which is called
a black man in America,

the other, America
itself (18)

The notion that two dreams and two Americas exist within the speaker echoes, at least to me, the concept of double-consciousness as proposed by W.E.B. DuBois in The Souls of Black Folk, in which he famously wrote:

One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.

Furthermore, the form of Williams’ poem suggests an intensification of this “two-ness” through a strategic use of a stanza break between the two instances of “America” within the single, syntactical unit. In this sense, the poem fuses form and content in order to heighten its underlying conceptual framework.

Similarly, racial and cultural issues are addressed and challenged throughout the collection in poems such as “A Black Man Who Wants to be a White Woman” and “How Do I Cross Out the X Malcom.” Within these poems, Williams creates linguistic spaces wherein he’s “Scribabbling” his words into an “estranged language” (34) of neologism and wordplay in order to write a:

       story we make up about the other stories
[Which] Itself is made up of other stories:
Thus the three dimensions of history—plus history,
Remarkable violence (34)

Yes, stories made up of stories compound by other stories, all constructing an American narrative that resonates with the “Remarkable violence” inherent to the history of a country fraught with civil rights’ tensions and complex racial relations. But far from simply being a collection of didactic poems, Williams employs his heightened intellect, aesthetic sensibilities, and ear for the musical phrase in order to compose poems that address the political and social worlds while simultaneously providing aesthetic pleasures. In doing so, the poems challenge both our understanding of contemporary poetry and our concept of race in America today.

Here’s a video clip of Williams reading his poem “Mayhem” from The Hero Project of the Century:

The final event of the semester for the Poets of Ohio reading series will take place on Thursday, 10 April when the poet Larissa Szporluk will visit Case Western Reserve University from Bowling Green, OH.

Best Thing I’ve Read Today: The Spine by Sarah Rose Etter

25 Mar

The Body Maps series up at The Fanzine is a new feature and for the first installment Sarah Rose Etter of Philadelphia set the bar sky high with her piece, “The Spine.” Here a few excerpts:

Everything inside of you is a curtain. Everything can be slid and tied to reveal more. You are a canyon of organs, bones, fat deposits, possible tumors, breast tissue, ligaments, white and red viscera, and then, finally, beneath all of that, the spine, which is your main river only very still, very hard, made of bone.

The night before it happens, you are swimming in painkillers in patches sucking at your skin to deliver relief, fog. The night before the Russian man splits you open, you picture him inside of you, his hands deft, sliding small, clear fragments from your flesh, your body just a skin bag of shattered glass.

You can describe, at length, the pattern the stitches made up your spine. You can go on about the way your head became a permanent moon over the toilet, the contents of your stomach shooting like white rays through black night into the clear sea below.

 

It’s a twisted narrative form with sharp, heavy  language and there is not one line that lets the reader off the hook. We can only hope that the rest of the series will be this good.

Best Thing I’ve Heard Today: Bloomfield, Foley, and Xu

20 Mar

Last night the poets Luke Bloomfield, Brian Foley, and Wendy Xu passed through Cleveland, OH on their Moonbucket reading tour in promotion of their books Russian Novels (Factory Hollow Press, 2014), The Constitution (Black Ocean, 2014), and You Are Not Dead (Cleveland State Poetry Center, 2013), respectively. Below are three short video clips of each poet performing at the event, which took place at Guide to Kulchur.

Here’s Luke Bloomfield reading his poem “Fisticuffs”:

Here’s Brian Foley reading his poem “Acumen”:

Here’s Wendy Xu reading here poem “Nocturne”:

Their tour, which has also taken them to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Akron, will continue tonight in Buffalo, NY.

Best Thing I’ve Heard/Read This Week: Dave Lucas

19 Mar

WeatherAfter a month-long layoff, the Poets of Ohio reading series resumed, hosting Cleveland-native Dave Lucas. Lucas read and discussed poems from his debut-collection Weather (University of Georgia Press, 2011) to a large, hometown crowd last night at Case Western Reserve University. Below is an excerpt of the introduction I gave for the event:

The history of poetry in and of Cleveland is fraught with complex tensions between poet and city. In a letter dated 15 June 1922, Hart Crane, arguably Cleveland’s most famous poet, wrote to his friend Wilbur Underwood that “Life is awful in Cleveland.” Decades later, d.a. levy, another local yet nationally-known poet, wrote:

cleveland, i gave you
the poems that no one ever
wrote about you
and you gave me
NOTHING

And in the recently published anthology of his writing, the poet Russell Atkins focuses his creative imagination on the “miserabled gone” of Cleveland and its images of the “sick / against [the] broken.”

While, no doubt, it’s easy to promote a narrative of Cleveland within poetry and the arts that is filtered through such a negative lens; there also exists an alternate vision that forwards a place-based poetics which champions the city in all its oxidized glory.

Dave Lucas’ first book, Weather, I think, traffics primarily in this latter category. While the speakers of his poems do acknowledge the “dying arts” (1) and the “muddy unmarked grave[s]” (14) of industrialism, they also articulate a relentless determination by the city and its inhabitants to persevere. For instance, in the poem “River on Fire,” Lucas meditates upon the burning of the Cuyahoga River, concluding with the realization that the “river burned and was not consumed” (15). Yes, it was set aflame several times—13 times, to be exact, from 1868 to 1969—but the river remains. And now, due to recent environmental efforts, the Cuyahoga is cleaner than it has ever been during the past 150 years.

In an interview I conducted with Lucas a little over a year ago, he mentioned that he hoped the poems of Weather would work through the tired narratives of “apocalypse and exodus” that so often dictate conversations about Cleveland in order to “transform” our collective imagination of and about the city. Rather than an urban landscape of decay, the poet wants “both [his] art and [his] city to be…in the present tense”: alive, vibrant, and worthy of praise.

To this extent, then, the poems of Weather mirror rather closely the poet Richard Hugo’s concept of the “triggering town,” wherein the “initiating subject”—in this case, Cleveland—activates the “imagination” in order to yolk intellectual curiosity, emotional resonance, and aesthetic beauty at the site of the poem.

Yes, the poem becomes a place both to embody and honor another place; and this doubling of place within Weather serves as a poetic reminder that Cleveland is not dead. Instead, the city is, indeed, “present” and thrives in our presence; perhaps under a layer of rust, for sure, but it lives and flourishes, exuding a passionate intensity that belies the negative critiques outsiders so often foist upon our city.

Here’s a video of Lucas reading his poem “Midst of a Burning Fiery Furnace” from the event:

This Thursday, 20 March, the poet Daniel Tiffany will deliver a hybrid reading-lecture titled “Is Kitsch Still a Dirty Word?”; and on Thursday, 27 March, the poet Tyrone Williams will read and discuss his poetry. Both events will be held on Case Western Reserve University’s campus.

Best Thing I’ve Read Today: Elizabeth Savage

17 Mar

abrsplashEditor Amber Nelson has once again put together a fantastic installment of alice blue review. Issue twenty-two contains some wonderful poets, such as Alyse Knorr, Vouched Books’ own Tyler Gobble, Sarah Barlett, and several others. I recommend reading through the entire issue (even the prose, lol).

But, as much as I enjoyed the issue as a whole, I keep returning to the two poems by Elizabeth Savage. Here is one of them, “This Bucket of Yours,” in its entirety:

dropped as I carried
                the summer of white
pansies & wild blue
geranium

                lowlife in sunlight

bottomless as the months
                reached
I could not hold
like a world’s filthy hem

The poem—as with her other contribution, titled “Alter Egret”—is a short, image-based nature poem that, for a moment, allows me to forget that I’m in the “bottomless…months” of winter in Cleveland. Repeated readings of these two poems, to my mind, allow me to access the summer’s white “lowlife in sunlight” (at least secondhand), while the temperatures outside hover just below twenty degrees.

Take some time to read both of Savage’s poems and then purchase a copy of her full-length collection Grammar at Furniture Press Books’ website.

Best Thing I’ve Heard This Week: Jennifer Moxley

6 Mar

A couple of weeks ago, the poet Jennifer Moxley flew in from Maine to vist Case Western Reserve University’s campus in Cleveland, OH.

On 20 February, she led a group discussion that focused on her article “A Deeper, Older O: The Oral (Sex) Tradition (in Poetry),” which is forthcoming in the Jeffrey Robinson and Jennifer Carr edited Active Romanticism, (University of Alabama Press, 2014).

The following day, Moxely read poems at an event, performing mostly new material that will appear in her forthcoming collection The Open Secret (Flood Editions, 2014).

Below is a video clip of the poet reading her poem “No Place Like”:

To find more of Moxley’s work, click-through to Flood Edition’s website.

For those in the northeast Ohio area, Dave Lucas (03/18), Daniel Tiffany (03/20), and Tyrone Williams (03/27) will all read at Case later this month.

Best Thing I’ve Read This Month: Abide

3 Mar

YorkFrom 2004-2005, I was a graduate student of Jake Adam York’s at University of Colorado-Denver; I also worked as a poetry editor with him on some early issues of Copper Nickel. Having known Jake personally and being familiar with his dedication to and enthusiasm for all-things poetry, it was heartbreaking to hear of his untimely death just over one year ago.

After recently receiving a copy of his posthumously released Abide (Southern Illinois University Press, 2014) in the mail, I was thankful for the opportunity to read new work by him; but that thankfulness was tempered by the sadness of knowing that he is no longer with us.

Abide serves to reinforce these conflicted feelings. On the one hand, the poems demonstrate York’s deft musicality, attention to craft, and adherence to an ethical imperative that originates in the historicity and spirit of the Civil Rights movement. On the other hand, the elegies therein resonant with sadly, prophetic echoes that often times seem to prefigure his own passing.

The poem “Mayflower,” for instance, is an elegy composed for John Earl Reese, who the poem’s dedication mentions was a “sixteen-year-old, shot by Klansmen through the window of a café” on “October 22, 1955.” The opening lines read:

Before the bird’s song
you hear its quiet

which becomes part of the song
and lives on after,

struck notes bright
in silence (17)

While, certainly, one can read the passage on the surface level as a lament for Reese’s passing, it is not difficult—at least for this reader—to read these lines as premonitory: “Before the bird’s song,” or the release of the poems in Abide, all we can “hear” from York is the “quiet” or “silence” following his death. Upon publication, the effects of his death become “part of the song,” at least to the extent that the poet’s absence can be keenly felt (or read) in all of these poems.

As the poem proceeds, the speaker eventually levels an awful truth:

and a young man’s voice

becomes a young man’s
silence, all

he did not say (18)

Yes, in the poems of Abide we hear the “young man’s voice” singing for us once more; but inherent to this music is the realization that the collection will be followed by the “young’s man’s / silence” and “all // he [will] not say.”

And one can only assume that York had much more to say. In the book’s concluding “Foreword to a Subsequent Reading,” Jake writes that his project of creating poetic monuments to the martyrs of the Civil Rights Movement was, indeed:

always too big for one book. It is more complicated than a simple serial form, like a trilogy. It is the work of a life, both countless and one; one cannot predict how long it will take, but it will take as long as it will take. Abide continues, advances, event as it contains, as it remains. (79)

While the completion of his project might not have reached full fruition, the four books York released do serve to “elegize” at least some of the “men, women, and children who were martyred between 1954 and 1968 as part of the freedom to struggle” (79) in a beautiful and earnest manner. Such elegies, it would appear, stem from both explicit and implicit prohibitions against articulating and celebrating these victims. Or, as the poem “Letter to be Wrapped around a 12-Inch Disc” states:

                                   We had so much
behind us, the history

               we were told we shouldn’t
name, stir up, remember,
                              so much silence

we needed to break (11)

York’s poems, specifically the elegies, seek to rupture the “silence” by stirring up and remembering those names that others wanted to be left behind and forgotten in the forward march of history.

To this end, York understood the necessary connection between memory and naming bound within breath: “We visit memory sites…but if memory lives on there, it isn’t memory anymore. Memory lives in the breath we breathe, in the air we make together” (80). We should, then, take this to declaration of breath to heart in order to keep both the memory of Civil Rights’ martyrs and York alive.

To do so, though, requires more than a visit to the physical site of a memorial or purchasing a book artifact. Rather, we must sing the names of the deceased through the silences. We must voice the names and recite aloud the poems, such that we begin “reaching / for the sound of some beyond” in order to create a “vibration” (8) that awakens the spirits and brings them to life through the audible word. Doing so will, in the end, reactivate the “Last breaths of the disappeared” (36) at and in the site of the poem. Or, as Jake himself wrote:

Maybe we keep saying
their silences between our words,

the shape of their voices
in ours, in ours

the warmth that haunts
their absent lungs. (34)

And, indeed, by reciting the poems of Abide aloud while reading, the reader shapes York’s voice within their own voice, such that the poet’s memory haunts the lungs of another, imbuing the breath and body with the spirit of the deceased.

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