Together and By Ourselves

Alex Dimitrov. Copper Canyon, , $16 ISBN 978-1-55659-510-3
In his second collection, Dimitrov (Begging for It) negotiates the cosmopolitan as well as the cosmos through a psychopomp narrator, guiding readers—living souls—through parties and canyons and cities. The figure is reminiscent of Emerson’s transparent eyeball cruising through a cityscape or O’Hara’s observation of the world moving by: “And people walked out of churches and bars,/ cafés and apartments, cities, towns, photographs,/ someone’s Friday night party,/ someone they once knew or slept with.” Dimitrov roves through four billion years of the sun’s existence and into calendars that contain a secret 13th month. His voice is steady across poems, swiftly navigating a dizzying landscape of non sequiturs and litanies and passing faces. Many of the poems are marked by absence: “Yesterday there was nothing on the beach/ and no one knows where it came from.” The narrator’s longing inside this lack is often matched by the distance the reader feels from all these passing scenes, like being told about a memorable photograph without being permitted to look at it. In these moments the book glows. Dimitrov instills palpable emotional yearning in his readers, as if you’re a tourist inside your own life: “A little of our misplaced lives,/ we saw them waving on the roof in the dark/ and thought they were birds.” (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/27/2017
Release date: 04/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 96 pages - 978-1-61932-169-4
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