Your New Feeling Is the Artifact of a Bygone Era

Chad Bennett. Sarabande, $15.95 trade paper (96p) ISBN 978-1-946448-48-4
The sensual, vulnerable debut by Bennett reckons with queer history and identity through short prose pieces and lyric poems “[S]et adrift on history’s inch.” Bennett allows personal experience, rich with desire and loss, to float alongside ephemera, questioning the relationship between the self and the queer body politic: “Who is a history. He is a surface the eye skims.” Distance echoes in everything, whether along telephone wires, across screens, or in bed. Lines repeat in poems alongside quotes from Stein, the New York Times, and the Violent Femmes, weaving in and out and changing in their repetition. The book’s second section, “Silver Springs,” is a semi-critical meditation on the Fleetwood Mac song of the same title and a past love. It offers one of the most accomplished of the book’s poems, one in which Bennett arrives at a sequence of beguiling images, insights, and reflections. “In fact to be beautiful, shame requires only a stage,” he writes, as though casting a knowing eye on the book’s aesthetic interests. This collection originally and imaginatively challenges perceptions of American queerness. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 01/17/2020
Release date: 01/01/2020
Genre: Poetry
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