cover image The Wanted

The Wanted

Michael Tyrell. National Poetry Review (, $17.95 trade paper (84p) ISBN 978-1-935716-17-4

Beginning with “Invisible Station,” a paranoid and relentless poem in which “In tunnels now you try to put them together every/ uniform every coin you watch the stations black out,” Tyrell appears poised to stake his claim as a serious and original voice that writes from the heart of America’s techno-anxiety. His debut is peppered with lines and poems that are both hair-raising and irreducible—like the burning question, “How many years have passed like this, under statues/ we didn’t commission?”—and Tyrell proves himself nearly inexhaustible when it comes to mining the puns, archetypes, and dross of American life. At times the changing pitch of Tyrell’s voice can become problematic. Where the collection opens on a note of vulnerability by way of panic and urgency, over time Tyrell grows more boastful and sardonic, crying, “O love, my has-been, I’ve heard the huddled cheerleaders, planning a kamikaze mission.” At his most exciting, Tyrell’s eagerness to riff on his own utterances and cadence reads like a frantic percussionist let loose on a trap set: “Hoarder of clues, the eye lives apart/ from the brain’s emergency device// feral, trained to the trail unknown... // alert to her destination, that window/ she’ll step from... her very own ledge.” (Nov.)