cover image Let It Be Broke

Let It Be Broke

Ed Pavlic. Four Way, $16.95 trade paper (134p) ISBN 978-1-945588-45-7

The powerful, ruminative 11th book from Pavlic (Let’s Let That Are Not Yet: Inferno) tracks the movements, crises, and severed realizations of an intellectually ambivalent, multiracial speaker in a legally complex and interpersonally troubled social world of the United States. “The poet” is “at the movies one eye on the man coming through/ the entrance the other// eye on the route to the emergency marked: exit.” The book’s middle section, “Documentary Shorts,” features shorter, lyric poems, while the long sequence “All Along It Was a Fever” is rich with direct and emotionally charged lines informed by the weight of history, fatherhood, and sexuality. Pavlic emphatically and attentively observes and riffs on what unites and divides people within countries, races, families, and even among individuals. “The bars of the cage are made mostly/ of the nothing between them,” he writes. “What,/ exactly, are they (you think it matters who?) shooting at.” This suite of poems is an impressive, revolutionary exploration of America’s violent history. (Mar.)