cover image A Plate of Chicken

A Plate of Chicken

Matthew Rohrer, . . Ugly Duckling, $15 (64pp) ISBN 978-1-933254-55-5

“I remember it vividly, where I was, the day I learned not to fear mental phenomena,” declares the prolific Rohrer (Rise Up ) in this 55-part series of seven-line poems, each line a sentence long. What is thinking, and where do thoughts come from? Rohrer, in a state of startling tranquillity, looks within and without for answers and delivers an astounding array of possibilities, sometimes reaching into the ephemeral (“I wake indistinguishable from the washed-out morning”) and sometimes happily insular (“I feel like I really am my thoughts”). Either way, the act of connecting—to one's own mind, to the world outside of the mind and to both simultaneously—is the supreme thrust of the book, and it is impossible to resist participating in this nonchalant adventure in metaphysical perception. Full of unforgettable, aphoristic lines (“I have to go up to the roof to polish the moon”; “I'm on the subway where the mind is meaningless”), this beautifully designed book— including flip-book style illustrations that, from back to front, depict the disappearance of a plate of chicken—though small, has a huge capacity to stimulate and surprise. (June)