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A Hotel in Belgium
     

A Hotel in Belgium

by Brett Fletcher Lauer
 
A Hotel in Belgium explores the emotional space between loyalty and skepticism. Here is a psyche preoccupied with both doubt and dread, but also a desire to surrender itself to the risks of love and trust. These smart, beautiful poems—often complicating their lyricism with formal rigor and adaptations of found texts—investigate the delicacy of human

Overview

A Hotel in Belgium explores the emotional space between loyalty and skepticism. Here is a psyche preoccupied with both doubt and dread, but also a desire to surrender itself to the risks of love and trust. These smart, beautiful poems—often complicating their lyricism with formal rigor and adaptations of found texts—investigate the delicacy of human relationships and the hopeful relentlessness with which we pursue them. The voice of these poems is tender, imaginative and sometimes wry, building an urgent narrative of melancholy, self-doubt and the ultimate resilience of the spirit.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
04/28/2014
“A world is heaven/ until it inherits a name,” writes Lauer in a debut whose name is overly simple relative to the rigorous, constant work of the mind that takes place within it. Lauer’s poems ripple like muscle, even as they circle around the notion that we may not possess tools strong enough to arrive at a singular definition of who and what we are. Here, “We construct a world./ The world is made of this room. This room made/ of chance.” The world is one where “Occasionally/ a ship’s horn is heard, enters into/ thought to be experienced/ as another analogous instance/ of morbid conditions prevailing.” By laying bare superstitious patterns of mind that we routinely interpret as meaning, Lauer’s poems reveal the indeterminacy of what we’re able to know—“We can’t assess the damages with defective instruments”—without forgoing what beauty is to be found in the attempts we make to know it. Optimistic book at their core, these poems are full-hearted even when dogged by existential emptiness: “I stood with an ideal attitude/ toward the wind, the flower purely physical,/ the vase almost blue. In the absence of perfect/ information, this is for your eyes only. In this/ perfect absence, absence is like information.” (Apr.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781935536390
Publisher:
Four Way Books
Publication date:
03/04/2014
Series:
Stahlecker Selections Series
Pages:
116
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.40(d)

What People are Saying About This

Matthew Zapruder
“This book points forward to a new exciting direction in American poetry, and I am so glad we can finally take it with us into the future.”

Meet the Author

BRETT FLETCHER LAUER is the deputy director of the Poetry Society of America and poetry editor of A Public Space. He lives in Brooklyn.

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