G.C. Waldrep and John Gallaher's collection Your Father on the Train of Ghosts has been hailed before as the seamless product of a collaboration which, rather than producing a host of call-and-response or exquisite corpse poems, comes through with a third, somewhat different voice than either poet alone. In Newcity Lit's recent review of the book (and it's hard to call it just a book), however, the interlacing of American Life as subject matter with this new voice is also examined. Tackling "an undeniably complicated, expansive subject," Waldrep and Gallaher's poems "slip fluidly from topic to topic, from the interior of a house ('... and what do we have to show for it / around the dinner table, or the sound like a dinner table'), to the exterior: parkways and botanical gardens, chapels and hospitals." It is this third poetic voice, produced by a year of back-and-forth emails between Waldrep and Gallaher, which illuminates the landscape of the poems. "It is this voice, among the mass of American voices it represents, that was most consistent and illuminating. ... With a sturdy assurance, this voices explores the commonalities we find within our shared physical spaces and places, the imprints left on the objects we interact with on a daily basis. In a web of doors, windows, phones and groceries, Gallaher and Waldrep allow us to see how we can leave impressions on our tangible environments that rival the emotion effects we can leave on family members and lovers after we pass on." "By bringing the inanimate to life," the review continues, "there is a revival of the mundane." And what else could be more poetic? Your Father on the Train of Ghosts is available for purchase here. Read the full review at Newcity Lit here.
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