cover image Now Do You Know Where You Are

Now Do You Know Where You Are

Dana Levin. Copper Canyon, $17 trade paper (96p) ISBN 978-1-55659-633-9

Written between the dawn and dusk of the Trump presidency, Levin’s luminous latest (after Banana Palace) reckons with the disorientation of contemporary America. In these poems, things are falling apart: “Metabolic system, financial system, political system, ecosystem—/ [...] And everywhere [...] the oracular feint of a joke future.” These poems oscillate between hope and despair: “Maybe,” Levin writes, “was about all that I could muster––on the question of whether this world.../ will flourish.” Through the fog of doubt, Levin summons ferocious intellect and musters hard-won clairvoyance. From telling the story of her own birth, to her sessions with an osteopath who calls himself an “Incarnation Specialist,” to grief over putting down a beloved cat, to her reflections on the history of the world––“every empire that ever/ rose and fell spread out on discs [...] like/ records spinning—all playing the same song”—she writes with profound self-awareness, spinning experience into meditations on how to exist. The answer is uncertain, but this terrific book will ground readers in the art of questioning, even as the ground quakes. (Apr.)