Poetry 365

Poet Albert Goldbarth

This month for Poetry 365 we’re featuring the latest collection from virtuoso poet Albert Goldbarth.  Author of over 25 volumes and the only two-time winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, the prolific Chicago native is best known for a singular, sprawling style that mixes dense philosophical ideas with wildly energetic word play.  In Everyday People, he presents 66 new poems that nimbly explore the wonders of everyone from Hercules and Jesus to overprotective parents, online gamblers, and newlyweds.  Fearless, funny, and tender, Everyday People argues that “our ordinary failures, heroics, joy, and grief are worth giving voice to and giving thanks for.”  So check out this extraordinary new book, sample a shorter poem below, and make sure to stop back next month for Poetry 365.

The Lamps

What the TV says, and the Web Page says, and the fifteen-member
     Committee
on Reimaging the Product. . . . But I’m thinking
.
of the story in which the Rabbi is done with the long day’s draining
nineteenth-century labor and drops insensible to his sleeping-straw
.
still wearing the dung-flecked clothes of the field, then suddenly
looks down at himself from the air, the way the bright release
.
of oil-light must look down at the smudged and heavy glass
for a minute: and then, the Rabbi ascends for the night
.
through the level of Cloud, and past the sword-beating Guardians
with their riddles, and finally unto the gates of Eternity itself,
.
wherein he wanders until his earthly body reels him back
along a thread of kasha-steam, which we’d call being
.
downloaded into hard copy, for this is our language
here, the language of buying and selling the lamps,
.
and not of releasing the genie.

Russell J. (Readers’ Services)

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