The Dance of No Hard Feelings

Overview

“Delirious! Adventure stories in the shape of poems.”—Laurie Anderson

“Bibbins . . . has the courage to stop, to pin down the always irrational present moment, and the reader is eager to follow, to inhale its scathing or enticing perfume. . . . A brilliant young poet.”—John Ashbery

"Those who will feel themselves spoken for by these poems have been hungrily awaiting this book." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

In his second collection, The Dance of No Hard Feelings, Lambda ...

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Overview

“Delirious! Adventure stories in the shape of poems.”—Laurie Anderson

“Bibbins . . . has the courage to stop, to pin down the always irrational present moment, and the reader is eager to follow, to inhale its scathing or enticing perfume. . . . A brilliant young poet.”—John Ashbery

"Those who will feel themselves spoken for by these poems have been hungrily awaiting this book." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

In his second collection, The Dance of No Hard Feelings, Lambda Award winner Mark Bibbins pressures language into a performance of surprising, invigorating movements across syntax and line. Vulnerable, yet suspicious and sharp-witted, he responds to a nation responsible for and besieged by a bankrupted presidency, employing concise lyrics and longer sequences while in the process inventing a new form, the exploded double haiku.

Incited by progressive blogs, ad campaigns, elegy, and Eros, Bibbins addresses environmental catastrophe and grotesque political posturing in our nascent millennium, as well as the corporate media's willingness to front for the worst offenders as it both panders and condescends to audiences drunk on doublespeak.

These are songs of passionate and ambivalence sung in a dark time.

Wrong decisions are harder to make than most
people realize, tears flying sideways in a gale.

We swerve in the road so as not to hit dead things

but I used to know someone who did the opposite.
He liked to drive through them. Stars are most

serious when seen from the back of a pickup truck

while very very drunk and if someone kisses you
there it doesn’t count. . . .

Mark Bibbins teaches in the graduate writing programs at The New School and Columbia University, and edits the poetry section of The Awl. He lives in New York City.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Bibbins has the courage to stop, to pin down the always irrational present moment, and the reader is eager to follow, to inhale its scathing or enticing perfumea brilliant young poet." --John Ashbery "Sky Lounge is filled with poems that play with form and language, and that are ceaselessly inventive and experimental." --Lambda Book Report "Mark Bibbins's poems zoom in on the minute gestures of social life and the products that attend them." --Peter Gizzi
Publishers Weekly
“We still can't know/ anyone but we have a way of not minding not knowing,” says Lambda Award–winning poet Bibbins (Sky Lounge) in the first poem of this second collection, which takes much of its subject matter and its attitude from life in George W. Bush's America, where “a drop/ of empathy sinks into/ a millionth word for shit/ said a million times.” These poems are made powerful by the bitter energy of a voice not silenced but made to sound ridiculous in a political culture in which disagreement with the government is unpatriotic. A series of poems called “Forcefield” seeks to take stock of and reconcile the damage America has done to itself: “we inch/ away from the windows// the bones// come falling/ down the chimney// the bones are still wet.” Other poems elliptically speak for heartbroken citizens: “I mean not to trivialize, but once/ we experienced it as agoraphobia—// real work getting out the door—/ and look what lay there: unreadings/ and misgivings.” The colossal long poem that concludes the book describes “The Devil You Don't,” who “was more often the tempted/ than the tempter.” Those who will feel themselves spoken for by these poems have been hungrily awaiting this book. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556592928
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Mark Bibbins is the author of The Dance of No Hard Feelings; The Anxiety of Coincidence, a digital-only chapbook; and Sky Lounge, which received a Lambda Literary Award. He teaches in the graduate writing programs at The New School, where he co-founded LIT magazine, and at Columbia University. Bibbins is the editor of the poetry section of The Awl and the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in poetry. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, Boston Review, Tin House, The Best American Poetry, and Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century.
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