My scanner doesn't begin to do justice to this beauty, one of Ryan Murphy's "proudly haphazard" one-offs from Prefontaine Press. It arrived in all its hand-sewn glory in July just as we polished off the last of the collected Stevens, which seemed particularly fitting and particularly satisfying since both were so pleasurable to read (or reread) aloud.
Mlinko has described the Hartford pyrotechnician and voluptuary as "consistently wring[ing] the comic potential from mere syllables," with a humor that "comes right out of the click and crash of consonants and vowels, as if phonemes were feathers applied to a particularly ticklish part of the brain," and it would be hard to come up with a better description of her own protean, acrobatic project, recently seen to full advantage in her National Poetry Series-winning volume Starred Wire (Coffee House, 2005).
It's hard to know whether today or yesterday was the full moon;
excitement isn't rigorous. It's just river-silvering
blent with the odor of silt where the roofs spike
along a repurposed waterfront.
A beach ball floats above the pressurized stream;
it is disequilibrium that keeps it there. Soap's expressed
as blisters when even gravity works backwards
at the limit of the ball held upside down inside the loop.
Rewards in a game they play against themselves
-- "Fancy curtseying as you're falling through the air" --
the shade breaks up beneath the oaks
tithing their gifts against the curriculum
of an armed galaxy. It slides into focus for the instant
I'm brrr, blurred.