For the Animal

For the Animal

by Joshua Poteat


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For the Animal by Joshua Poteat

In a litany that is both a grand introduction and the mournful aftermath, Joshua Poteat celebrates, serenades, and grieves the animal passing through the frame in an accident and a perfection of timing. Using a rigid formal principle--9 fully-stopped lines per stanza, each opening with "For the animal"--Poteat carves a multi-faceted crystal prism, taking in the white light of anaphora and scattering out unpredictable bands of composite color. The animal too reveals the layered nature of things: it "pulls from the taxidermy an arsenic shawl"; it "takes silence from the milk"; it hears and measures the "sound of whiteness over the city." Arriving while leaving, the animal is unreliable and steadfast, a witness and accessory, abandoned and preserved. Mimicking the human--or, anthropomorphized by the human--the animal "holds the nail gun," "removes its wig," "replaces abundance with Klonopin." The swelling chords of cognitive dissonance grow deafening until, beyond our perception's ability and alongside the animal, we visit "the place where names burst like clouds," climb "a ladder of withering blood," and finally "survey the atmosphere." A welcome vision from a heart trapped in a landscape of contradiction. --ONI BUCHANAN

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781934832424
Publisher: New Michigan Press
Publication date: 12/01/2013
Pages: 40
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.10(d)

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