cover image Fjords, Vol. 1

Fjords, Vol. 1

Zachary Schomburg. Black Ocean (SPD, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (72p) ISBN 978-0-9844752-5-4

It’s said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results, something Schomburg understands. In his third collection, “the world is always as it is, and always as it seems.” Narrative without losing lyrical beauty, witty without losing gravity, the poems—though fiercely contemporary—still uphold the priorities to delight (“I am working in the ticket booth of the movie theater when you come in and take off my pants”) and to instruct (“Nothing is anyone’s fault, which is something we must remember. The world is just a bag of seeds and there is nowhere for the seeds to be planted”). Capping off the book is an index (including classic themes—“Truth,” “Beauty,” “Death,” “Birth”—along with some new ones—“Airplanes, burning”), which suggests these poems should be reread, even referenced—as if this book is a manual for transcending “wild meaninglessness.” “Falling in love with the death thought is a way of never really dying,” Schomburg writes. “You let an idea hold you in its real arms.” These are wildly imagined poems to fall in love with and reread. (Mar.)