Wolf Face

Matt Hart, H_ngm_n (www.h-ngm-nbks.com), $14.95 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-4538-3227-1
"This language isn't anywhere," Hart announces early in his second collection—a statement that proves itself true throughout these punchy and digressive poems. Seeking out the friction that can exist between unrelated images and fragments of language, Hart (Who's Who Vivid) refuses to prohibit his mind from wandering where it pleases, whether it be "...the aegis/ The podiatrist./ The rhinoceros" or "my wife,/ my daughter, the leaders of my country." At his best, Hart coils these tangents so tightly around a focused conflict that one can't help delighting in his quick, darting turns, as in "Ode to Anybody Left Standing," a poem centered on the insistence that "It isn't necessary that life seem meaningful at every turn,/ only that it mean something in the face of you." If these poems can at times seem overdense with these kinds of digressions, they make up for it with their wildly earnest energy and good nature, two things that are increasingly rare in contemporary poetry. Hart writes distinctively from a place where "screaming [is] a new kind of singing." (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/20/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
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Paperback - 116 pages - 978-0-9832215-0-0
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