I’m No Longer Troubled by the Extravagance is a map of human fragility that is punctuated by brittle bones, vague yesterdays, and lovers who leave. Ultimately a stage for language to do the unexpected, Rick Bursky’s new poetry collection speaks to matters of the heart, brings new awareness to the mind, and affirms the surreal extravagance of being alive.
I once believed I could warm my blood
by making my heart erupt into flame,
Once believed I could disguise myself
by turning my skin into a wall laced with vines
—but a woman convinced me otherwise.
You, on the other hand,
have convinced me of nothing.
So go ahead, pretend we’re talking.
You’ll tell me how the telephone rings
without being prompted.
I’ll tell you how clouds form a map
only the dying can read. It’s wonderful how
honesty is a convention so easy to malign.
Still, the truth keeps its secrets to itself.
“Rick Bursky’s breezy, surreal narratives are bristling with a ‘Qui vive' alertness to the pedestrian world and its aftershocks all the way to eternity. I’m wonderfully troubled by these poems, their extravagances and great diversions through which we often plunge recklessly toward truth and all perils of the heart: ‘Love without fear is meaningless, it’s a machine / like grief, always in the early stages of invention.’”―Mark Irwin
“Rick Bursky is blessed with a complicated and eccentric imagination, and the ability to write pellucidly uncomplicated sentences. These gifts are joined together in his new book I’m No Longer Troubled by the Extravagance where each poem is startling in its strangeness and weird beauty. Other gifts are Bursky’s constant ability to surprise, as well as his ability to create an amalgam of the serious, comic, and fantastic, turning many of his poems into delirious journeys. The book is a pleasure to read.”―Stephen Dobyns
© BOA Editions, Ltd. 2015