Everything Breaking/For Good

Matt Hart. YesYes, $18 (102p) ISBN 978-1-936919-66-6
Hart (Debacle Debacle) reveals in his skillful sixth book the instability in experiences and interactions with remarkable craftsmanship and command of imagery. “My arms are open/ to all the murderous/ possibilities,” he declares early in the collection as he sets out to reveal what lies just below the surface of perception. “It is Friday,” he writes; “Vermont is still Vermont,/ whether anyone notices/ or not, I’m a panther,” he muses in lines that meditate on the limits of interpersonal connection and the solitude of inner experience. Yet despite posing skeptical philosophical questions, the speakers of these poems persist “in defiance of the great/ distances between us,” the poems themselves full of engaging and often humorous turns, as in “Johnny Cash Joe Strummer:” “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash./ I have just stepped out of a limo./ You should thank me and believe me/ because I have written/ some really classic American songs.” In passages such as this, Hart revels in the impossibility of his own rhetorical situation, suggesting that poetry affords a testing ground for ideas and speculations, and seemingly implausible models of the world around us. This book stands as an accomplished addition to Hart’s innovative body of work. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 08/14/2019
Genre: Poetry
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