cover image Decoherence


Nate Pritts. 42 Miles, $15 trade paper (70p) ISBN 978-0-9830747-9-3

In his cerebral eighth collection, Pritts (Post Human) cycles through the many metaphorical connotations of light, investigating each at close range, and laments the ephemerality of experience. This is a taut, captivating, and emotionally weighty series in which the “complex architecture of any moment in memory” can never be accurately recalled. The poet’s attempts at summoning these past instants are stymied because “something is not / exact enough.” Without the right words, memory is doomed and the self is fractured, its history never fully understood. “I can’t hold even related spots of time/ together / I can’t feel every self in concert,” he writes. Pritts grieves for the irretrievable on a human as well as aesthetic level—his perceived failure to properly capture a scene in words means “that this blue sky was not raging/ with rare beauty,// but simply was inexorable unyielding.” While working through this existential conundrum, Pritts finds a semblance of acceptance, a beauty in the transitory. Tiny human events, such as taking out the trash or waiting at a train station for a loved one, he asserts, should be revered, and the self cherished. Incidents disappear just like shifting rays of light and the self of tomorrow may long for the self of yesterday. For Pritts, this self is “decoherence one person/ whole / but impenetrable.” (Oct.)