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Something for Everybody

“Tilebreaker” by Polvo was my favorite song in 1992 and then again in 2010. I was once told the poem sounded at a reading like an argument, whereas I was aware of it mainly as a incision between memory-of-song and attempt-to-retain-thought in moving crowded spaces while summoning antidotes to endless war (when we shop we’re at the front). One Emerson sentence listening to De La Soul. All these boths could be wrong. It's probably the earliest and therefore oldest poem in Something for Everybody, a book built out of what got made upon request over a period of years’ ears. Imitation as solace, love, defiance, and tattered opening (write yr own blurb), plus ant wars. The list of possible (“imagined”) methods of extraterrestrial sex has to become the work. What glimpse of seven turns content when the image has to take its place in back? I have internalized 437 collage techniques at minimum in order to smush fluidity’s cheek up against the inside surface of the picture plane in motion. The requests were sometimes made by humans. Shout out to Elective Affinities, & Skasers. — Anselm Berrigan

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Featured on August 12, 2019

Hall of Waters

We forget that one product of fire’s burning is water. And Berry Grass’ searing and far-seeing, tetrahedral and tenderhearted micro memoirs set in the osmotic membrane of the Middle Border, Hall of Waters, re-minds us of these fused and confused outcomes at the core of the combustion of cognition. There is nothing I can think of akin to the elemental chemistry of this book. It is sublime, yes, but in its exquisitely rendered prose it rewrites (and rights) the valences that bond us to the place of place and the us of us. This water is “hard” water indeed, but in the dissolved solids one finds a balm, a welling, a source, and a baptism all drenched and drenching in liquid fire. -Michael Martone, Author of The Moon Over Wapakoneta and Brooding

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Featured on August 5, 2019

The Year of Blue Water

It’s strange but fulfilling to look through this book again, now published and read since this March. One of the curious strengths of the project and the poems is that they can truly be ordered in many permutations, orders that I have not done before. And even a mild change can create new sensation in the reading. Each permutation could have started a similar but different book. I’ve compiled a small selection, until now only published in the book, around the questions of wanting and having and not having yet, especially as we are made to believe about wealth, accumulated or not, which serves as a conduit for action, inaction, and all kinds of judgments we place on ourselves and other people. Then there’s the imagination—of character, of love, of living—whose abundance is only apparent in practice with it, in liberation. —Yanyi 30 July 2019

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Featured on July 29, 2019

He do the police in different voices

“He do the police in different voices” That’s how the orphan Sloppy reads the paper to his foster mother in Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend, and that’s what Eliot titled The Wasteland before Pound crossed it out. Have you often resisted the injunction to “find your voice”? Thought that it’s our own unique mission, our racket, our sensitivity as poets, to be able (and allowed) to shift, voice to voice, register to register, sometimes within a single line? Here are polyvocal poems, poems from different tenors, with addressors/addressees that change between the beginning and the end; and works that go from bathos to desperation, science to prayer, strophe to declaration. Because what’s the use of a simple leap? Like the great drag queen Dorian Corey said: “If you shoot an arrow, and it goes real high… Hooray for you.”

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