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To Keep Love Blurry

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To Keep Love Blurry

By: Craig Morgan Teicher

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Inspired by Robert Lowell’s Life Studies, Craig Morgan Teicher’s To Keep Love Blurry is an exploration of the charged and troubled spaces between intimately connected people: husbands and wives, parents and children, writers and readers. These poems include sonnets, villanelles, and long poems, as well as two poetic prose pieces, all meditating on the relationship between truth and art. As a son becomes a husband and then a father, Teicher expertly probes a life recast as poetry, with poems that long to leap into the lives of their subjects.

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Inspired by Robert Lowell’s Life Studies, Craig Morgan Teicher’s To Keep Love Blurry is an exploration of the charged and troubled spaces between intimately connected people: husbands and wives, parents and children, writers and readers. These poems include sonnets, villanelles, and long poems, as well as two poetic prose pieces, all meditating on the relationship between truth and art. As a son becomes a husband and then a father, Teicher expertly probes a life recast as poetry, with poems that long to leap into the lives of their subjects.

"The book risks most everything poetry can risk: family, reputation, legacy, privacy. The spirits of dead parents mix with a spouse and children and colleagues, and then, there’s Robert Lowell, who presides over this entire volume in a ghostly fashion that should get Harold Bloom’s attention."
--Publishers Weekly

“The majority of poems in this new work from Teicher… employ form in the best sense of the word– as a frame, not a crutch… When at his best, Teicher’s poems are formal and–as a welcome bonus– amusing.”
--Library Journal


“The closing couplet of a sonnet or a Shakespearean scene signals a swift turn and the lingering note of finality that will continue to resonate so dramatically that it literally gives us pause. Teicher takes this familiar pattern as a starting point and varies his reinvention of it so thoroughly as to sound the heavens with its infinite measures. Herein, a long period of grief for which there is no comfort in form. A salacious glance at bodies reined in by exacting rhymes. A liberating push-back against the idea of economy. More play, more improvisation, and more defiantly deadpan humor – this is the vital shot-in-the-arm American poetry needs. And who would have thought it would arrive in such a disarmingly honest voice? The brilliance of these poems is how they renovate not only poetry but language, without pretense, without the declaration of war, without summoning the ghost of Shakespeare in any but the most charming ways. I could live in the mind of these poems and never want to leave. The nice thing is, as a guest at Teicher’s party in poetry’s honor: I get to dally among the roses.”                                 
  –D. A. POWELL


VARIATIONS ON THE MOMENT OF APPREHENDING THE EXTENT OF ONE'S RESPONSIBILITIES

1

that minute subdivision of time
during which the full consequence

flickers, just before the door clicks
shut but just after you could have

stopped it from shutting, when
you realize, your hand already

seizing your empty pocket, that
you have left your keys inside

2

that useless subdivision of time
in which what really happens

could never have been
prevented--it yawns so wide

though you can barely fit
a blink into it, like the moment

just before the door clicks shut
but just after you realize

3

you have left your keys inside.
So many things are unsatisfactory,

like the moment, like the baby
monitor, like your hand already

seizing your empty pocket,
useless. Consequence

flickers, what really happens
could fit behind a blink

4

that useless subdivision of time
in which what happens could fit,

flickers, could never have been
prevented, is so unsatisfactory

like the moment just before
the door clicks shut but just after

you could have stopped it from
closing with the back of your foot

5

your hand already seizing
your empty pocket, as if you could

go back, your keys inside,
and begin again, take your clothes

off, crawl back, deep into bed.
So many things are unsatisfactory --

that you have left your keys inside,
that this is when you realize

6

this could never have been
prevented, that what you realize

is not only useless but infinitely
painful, because minute,

irrevocable, like the baby
who flickers in the video monitor,

a blink in which the door clicks shut.
You could never have stopped it

7

till now, just after you realize
so many things are unsatisfactory,

just before, your hand already
seizing your empty pocket,

the full consequence flickers
behind a blink that is now

your measure of time, useless
because it already happened.

Additional Information

Authors Craig Morgan Teicher
Edition Paperback
ISBN 9781934414934
Publish Date September 11, 2012

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