Poetry Month 2016: Aaron Anstett
Ipse Dixit May as well wager which word prettiest— reciprocal? meadow? discrepancy? surgery? accelerant? imbroglio? plumage? hush?—or dispute fabric pattern best paired with mood— houndstooth sorrow, paisley whimsy—as argue up there, where prayers contend and birds skirt the many invisibilities, open source in uncopyrightable sky, through scrambled chatter of unfathomable disaster and celebrity scandal the unknowns that worry over and love us and which the greater pity: that we want or what we want. Call at your convenience to say again how wet earth smells where you live. Describe its fumes and spices. * Certainty A man rises from a conference table, tired of acronyms and everyone saying them, weary of phrases like “A lot downstream hinges on this…” and “We’re productizing cloud offerings.” He walks through door after door after door to the parking lot, whispering names of countries and capitals, then continents and body parts and colors. From the asphalt he lifts what he guesses a pigeon’s feather, oily, iridescent, and thumbs its filaments, conjuring the restless winds that fluttered them. [From Moreover] ~ From the publisher’s Web site: The poems in Aaron Anstett’s Moreover, by turns laconic and garrulous, hard-boiled and tender, magnify gaps and unreliabilities in the surface of things through which the depths of an underlying desolation, a nameless existential care, and the mystery of love may be glimpsed; they make a swaying bridge over the abyss of loss. “Number among my umpteen flaws detached glibness,” he writes; “Who would disagree that little’s glitchless?” What he calls his glibness, transmitted with a compressed but graceful musicality, often attains an unsentimental lyricism all the more touching for its reticence. His audacious imagination and relentless intelligence give rise to a richly ironic humor that is often valedictory, somber, even grim, but never without profound affection and attention.