...which is exactly how a new year should begin. Michael Cross, the man behind Atticus/Finch, and an old friend of mine, sent me his first book of poetry, In Felt Treeling and it is gorgeous (both in edition and content).
Cross frames the poems as a libretto for Lavinia (from The Tragedy of Titus Andronicus) and Eumenides. The poems seem to hint at a sort of internal syndetic structure, but one that has begun to collapse. The language, though, evokes and surprises:
"e. sallow blossom / dis-
sympathy your eyes / sort of
emphatic squints / spatially met
useless near you rend / already
yield / for instress"
In the second half of the book, Come Flora Err--Solos for a Mezzo Soprano, Cross leaves the lyric structure behind and concludes the collection with a series of prose poems (hurrah!). I love the prose poem as a form, but it can certainly be tricky to write. happily, the prose poems in this collection manage to balance the visceral lyricism of the earlier section with the more dense structure of prose blocks.
Chax is publishing some really interesting writers and I am happy to see Michael's work included in their catalog.