cover image Thing Music

Thing Music

Anthony McCann. Wave (Consortium, dist.), $18 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-1-933517-96-4

McCann (I Heart Your Fate) culls restless poems from vast spaces created by wind, light, and sound; where "leaves twitched/ in the white wind// light entered/ every hole// Everything was noise." The poems treat the reader as a tightly-bound creature navigating an infinite space, with McCann urging an acknowledgement of the inherent energy possessed by any object%E2%80%94energy that gives each thing its own life and thus deepens the uncertainty of how well we know our world. Here, each object brims with greater purpose: "Can't we say that the object is singing, that its absence,/ like presence, is there?" This includes our own bodies, as if the physical self keeps an inner radiance at bay, "like when a head comes off/ and light spreads across the room." In these poems, the body is empty and open, not just receptive but overwhelmed by the world flowing unstoppably around and through it: "I pushed/ my body through// all this/ speed// to you." McCann examines our attachment to the physical world and uses this to build a bridge to the metaphysical; in his undulating world, the physical self is a gift, one that gives us a hand to feel that pulse, a shape in all the noise. (Sept.)