In his fifth collection of poems, Christopher Kennedy sifts through the detritus of the past to uncover the memories, images, and symbols that shape an individual’s consciousness. Looking to animals and their instincts for inspiration, drawing shape from the poet’s Irish Catholic working-class roots, these prose poems transcend grief and depression by seeking humanity’s place in the natural world.
My eleven windows are sheets of ice. A clutter of white spiders runs across the blue shadow of the moon. My shadow is lost in their shadows. Time can't see itself in the mirror. I sleep inside my own head, a shame substitute for sunrise when I wake and wonder where I am. It will be raining, and I will be late for everything. The hills are plumb tonight in the curse-kiss of absence, in rain spore and lamp shadow. A million furnaces in melancholy galaxies burn out where suicides outnumber births, land of the dead where expediency trumps romance. To reach it, I have to swim the depths of all the bottomless seas in my sleep. The only way to reach extinguished stars.
"A haunting, complex, and very beautiful book. Kennedy has a deep understanding of American longing and the inevitable losses associated with that longing, and, because he is a powerful artist, is able to make from that loss a wonderful victory: this moving portrait of the human heart examining itself." —George Saunders
"Singular and deeply pleasurable. Christopher Kennedy’s prosetry is a lonely anarchic nation-state unto itself, half vacation funspot, half eerie purgatorial layover. There is joy and dread here, in every carefully considered line, and evidence of a brain committed to giving shape to the thoughts we keep in a small box, on the top shelf, of our darkest, dankest closet." —Dave Eggers
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