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In the last four or so days, I've bought three new books of poems. Only a fool buys his books precisely when his class reading begins.
Ivor Gurney's war poems; Sad Little Breathing Machine, Matthea Harvey; The Cosmos Trilogy, Frederick Seidel. I usually go into book-buying and reading with the hope that the poems I've got will somehow be the ones I've been looking for, which is unfair.
Adam Kirsch didn't find what he needed in the latest Seidel. He wanted him to rub another pair of fictive political titties in his face. To use the applicable phraseology.
I could read Matthea Harvey's poems at 8.30 in the morning, somehow, which is a review. It's a book of machines, and systems, and strangenesses. And an extraordinary title. And I haven't finished it, but I have hopes that it might be coquettish, too.
What do I do with a book that has great moments, for a moment? One poem has a few lines about a sunfish and a duck lunging for a crumb & accidentally kissing (ah, yes, in 'Toe the Line with Me'), and how this is a great, awkward connecting moment, and a functional description of Othering. It's sort of stunning at first, and then kitschy, and then maybe just irritating. This is the process, and it seems automatically repetitive, once the switch has been thrown. Harvey sounds like what most poets would sound like if they had imaginations.
She lives in Brooklyn. Why is it that 87% of young poets live in Brooklyn?