Saturday, March 21, 2009

I Thought I was New Here

BlazeVox Books

Like Wallace Stevens' man on the dump, the speaker of this haunting debut collection conducts a lyrical salvage operation amid the wastelands of modernity. Sorting through the burnt-out houses and shattered limousines of his insomniac imagination, Gregory Lawless unearths the dreamlike beauty of ruin: “I saw a larch tree growing through the torn cockpit of a Mig.” From his beloved hardscrabble Scranton to the Gothic junkyards of the former Soviet Union to “the homesick constellations: / The Northern Tire Iron, / The Quilt of Marbles, / The Glitter-Sling,” I Thought I was New Here makes it new all over again. This poet understands that desolation has its own music. Listen carefully to his voice, and you will hear “what the deaf hear / when they say / their own names.” —Srikanth Reddy

Read more at BlazeVox Books