One of America’s foremost prose poets, Richard Garcia’s The Chair takes place simultaneously in the natural world and in a speculative world rich in fabulist tradition: historical figures roam like ghosts; time is pulled and twisted; and narrative spins effortlessly out of language. A core of autobiography grounds these poems that are accessible, highly-imaginative, and rife with surprises. Finely-spun with wit, intelligence, and heart, these poems teach us to dream with eyes wide open.
“If there is such a thing as the fabulist prose poem, then Richard Garcia is the master of it. Still, we diminish the unpredictability of his imagination by comparing him to the usual fabulists—Cortazar, Borges, or Kafka. By now Garcia has mapped out his own strange territory.”
“Funny, fierce, moving, and always no compromises, ever, for Richard Garcia.”
“His drop-dead timing is as masterful as his natural grace is rare. An air of enchantment surprises on every page."
About the Author
Richard Garcia is the author of five books of poetry, including BOA titles Rancho Notorious (2001) and The Persistence of Objects (2006). His honors include a fellowship from the NEA, a Pushcart Prize, the Cohen Award from Ploughshares, the Georgetown Review Poetry Prize, and the American Poetry Journal Book Prize. His poems appear widely in journals and anthologies. Garcia teaches creative writing in the Antioch University low-residency MFA program, and lives on James Island, South Carolina with his wife.
My footsteps are loud, as if I were in a large room. I find a book of matches in my pocket and light one. I almost burn my fingers as the light goes out, leaving a trace of sulfur in the air. I try another and hold it high. Ropes. Curtains. I kneel, holding the match low. Wooden floor. I walk ahead slowly, sliding my feet, and almost step off into space. I hear a gasp. Someone chuckles. Apparently I’m being watched. I count the matches. I don’t want to waste any. Maybe I can find a candle. A flashlight. A light switch. I prepare myself to light the next match. I’m getting better at this.