Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Living in Oblivion

What It Is

The title of this post is taken from the latest chapbook from Howie Good (What It Is and How to Use It) . . . one of many great titles in its pages.  (Others include “A Hazy Shade of Postcolonial Melancholia,” “There’s Gonna be Dust,” and “The Rain Side of the Rain-Snow Line.”)  Howie’s poems are at once fun to read and depressing, almost a dark magical realism where an image of dead cow becomes a bear becomes a half-naked man shooting up a Waffle House.  (Yes, real life creeps in, as well.)  It’s like a series of vignettes that you can visit, get lost in for a while, and eventually leave; for many of characters therein . . . much less chance of escape.  The cover photo above is one of two totally different designs available.  The photos for both covers were taken by Belgian photographer Tom Christiaens, and they really capture essence of these pieces.

From “Pronounced Tendancies”:

“As someone who grew up around here, I have a magnifying glass for examining things that people bring in or that I find on the street. One day it might be the bloated carcass of a dog; another, a teddy bear like the one my sister had when she was little. Today an older couple came in with the alphabet prowling around them. The noise in the room was overwhelming, but I thought I heard him say modern homes burn 8x faster. Then I glanced out the window, and there were so many fires I couldn’t even see the sky.”

Pick up your copy today!

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