The Man Suit
Zachary Schomburg, Author , Black Ocean $12.95 (105p) ISBN 978
The often funny yet haunting prose and verse poems of this eagerly anticipated debut deal with the subtle and unexpected ways things can transform, usually just beneath an observer's awareness. In "Postcard from the Arctic Ocean" the speaker can "make smoke signals/ by burning/ these postcards/ by the handful." With similarly flippant but persistent gestures, Schomburg pushes at the boundaries of logic. He asks for a willing suspension of disbelief and of order. Non sequitur and clever opposition govern this world: a homicidal monster– cum–TV celebrity is fired in favor of a "gorilla dressed in people clothes"; in "I'm Not Carlos," "tree machines" dial up the poem's speaker, calling him Carlos and demanding he hand over "the Man Suit." A poem called "I've Since Folded This Poem into an Airplane" admits Schomburg's comfort with the self-conscious and reflexive in poetry. If a few of these poems are slight, the best of them imbue whimsy with high emotional stakes, suggesting this collection's casualness has been carefully wrought. Schomburg may be one of the sincerest surrealists around.
Reviewed on: 04/16/2007