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Encouragement for a Man Falling to His Death

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Encouragement for a Man Falling to His Death

By: Christopher Kennedy

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Christopher Kennedy's poetry is funny, deadpan, self-effacing and revelatory in the way of a man with nothing to lose. Encouragement for a Man Falling to His Death is a mix of verse and prose poems, ironic fables and surreal parables that lampoon the absurdities in contemporary American life.

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Christopher Kennedy's poetry is funny, deadpan, self-effacing and revelatory in the way of a man with nothing to lose. His first two books, Nietzsche's Horse and Trouble with the Machine, are collections of prose poems. The poems are often ironic fables or surreal parables that lampoon the absurdities in contemporary American life. Kennedy's new collection, Encouragement for a Man Falling to His Death is more varied in forms and more personal in tone and themes. Encouragement is a mix of verse and prose poems with an emphasis on the former. A number of poems are fourteen lines, contain an octet and sestet, and present an argument which is then reinforced or countered. This more formal style provides the necessary "architecture" for Kennedy to grieve his father's death. Having recently turned fifty himself, the age his father was when he died, Kennedy's poems also reflect his own obsession with the idea of transformation--from the ordinary to the extraordinary, from life to death.


Riddle of Self-Worth

By cannibal standards, I'm dinner for six.
My pet vulture has the disconcerting habit of staring
at the clock and then at me. In terms of sun,
I plan for a long Alaskan winter. Insurance salesmen
slink away from me at parties. A stiff breeze
blows away my weight in gold. In the world of before
and after, I remain steadfastly before. Last session,
my psychiatrist shook my hand and thanked me
for curing his insomnia. If I had a nickel for every time
my name was associated with greatness, I would owe
someone a quarter. My mother called recently and asked
for her umbilical cord. Yet I'm resilient, a human cockroach.
I'll be here for awhile, blocking progress in a black leather jacket,
switchblade quick and ruthless as a jar of pennies.


© BOA Editions, Ltd 2007

Available editions:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-934414-02-6
Price: $23.00
Publishing Date: October 2007
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-929918-98-0
Price: $16.00
Publishing Date: October 2007

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Authors Christopher Kennedy
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