The Importance of Peeling Potatoes in Ukraine

Mark Yakich, Author . Penguin $18 (112p) ISBN 978-0-14-311333-1

This bold second collection is profane, political and humorous in its engagement with what it means to live, especially as a poet, in terrible times. A former National Poetry Series winner, Yakich (Unrelated Individuals Forming a Group Waiting to Cross ) showcases a mixture of dark wit (in poems with titles like “Spell to Bring Me Osama Bin Laden”); clowning sorrow (“When I apply my manhood like makeup,/ Everything is at once promising/ and suspect”); strident opinions (“Let the mind worry/ about the logic. But don't // Forget to drag the body,/ As witness, through the sand”); and sociopolitical awareness (“What about a flag of bacon? Oh I would/ Not have the courage to fly it”). Private poems (on family, parenthood, sex, suicide) mediate between, and meditate on, the book's otherwise public focus, showing a softer side of Yakich's agile lyricism: “Paper,// Tell the tree/ I'm sorry.// Tree, tell/ The paper// My story.” (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 04/21/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 128 pages - 978-1-4362-0107-0
Open Ebook - 128 pages - 978-1-4362-0106-3
Open Ebook - 128 pages - 978-1-101-22127-3
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