Steve Gehrke's poems chronicle the body's losses and recoveries. The Resurrection Machine is a fearless investigation of both the world of the body and the body of the world. In this book, the poems offer us a profoundly moving evocation of illness, death, and a surprising and redemptive faith, while their musicality engages and delights us. A heart "opens and closes like a dark umbrella." A man "unlock[s]" himself from his own skin. The body's organs divide the past from the future. The poems in this collection introduce us to a daring and eloquent new voice in American poetry.
With surgical precision, Steve Gehrke's poems open us to the complex mysteries of our fragmented bodies and lives. What happens inside us when a mother's donated kidney fails inside her son? What does this world look like to a man pacing in autism's villanelle? How does a marriage weather a husband's genuine doubts about how he'll feel toward his wife when another person's heart beats in his chest? Thousands of patients literally own what this poet calls "fractions of the dead." All of us do, metaphorically. These are eerie salvations, the chances offered by medical science and by poetry. Gehrke guides us, with hand-stitched wisdom, through suffering and toward a healing that requires giving thanks for what others have given so that we might live.