When You're Deep in a Thing

When You're Deep in a Thing

by Anthony Cappo
When You're Deep in a Thing

When You're Deep in a Thing

by Anthony Cappo


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When You're Deep in a Thing reimagines the coming of age book and the masculine tropes of the bildungsroman, suggesting that adulthood never vanquishes the kids we were. When Cappo's speaker returns home for holidays, "memories / of hangdog childhood seep in / like methane." Despite temporal distance, he perpetually finds himself in the museum of paternal absence, the house his father left, where "ghosts whisper" and "frames / fade to shame." From this possessed site, the collection bravely asks, how does one make sense of boyhood? Become a man without guidance? As the certainties of a religious upbringing vanish, the physical and spiritual boundaries of the world threaten to disintegrate. From depression, to political violence, to the certainty of death, Cappo's exigent debut ventures to discover an intimate humanity against all odds. At these poems' horizons, a tenacity remains, a determination to find sweetness, candor, and connection in this troubled world, where "the air's still, // The ground a trembling silence," yet "scathed we set out again."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781954245273
Publisher: Four Way Books
Publication date: 09/15/2022
Series: Stahlecker Selections
Pages: 120
Sales rank: 1,013,890
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Anthony Cappo is the author of the poetry chapbook, My Bedside Radio. His poems and other writings have appeared in Thrush Poetry JournalPreludeThe RumpusYes Poetry, and other publications. Anthony received his M.F.A. in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College. He grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and now lives in New York City. His work can be found at anthonycappo.com.

Read an Excerpt

Saturday Night Fever
My mother couldn't afford to buy me a leather jacket,
but my sister's cop boyfriend gave me a John Travolta
haircut. His training: When someone does something
to this body, I pay attention. He took me hunting-

shooting at deer illegally from a moving car. I cried
when they broke up. He taught me how to drink,
how to slam the door when you walk in a room
to show you're badass.

I was a strobe-my dad gone-pulsing
in the dark. Teachers said I'd changed. It's easy
to be cruel with a tough guy haircut
and gold rope chain. My sister's disco

throbbing on the lunchroom jukebox,
I'd sit with the greasers, but minutes would pass
in silence. Slinked away or just waited for the bell.
I always thought it was about the music but

it wasn't.

Table of Contents


Kindling 3

Saturday Night Fever 4

Purgation 5

Aubade 6

Thank you to whomever 8

Sitting in a Beach Café in Tulum in the Last Hours of the Obama Administration 9

Gate C31 11

Walter S. 13

Pillbug 14

Window Seat 15


When you're deep in a thing 19

Come Blow Your Horn 22

Suggestible 24

I never feel so sexless 25

Funeral 27

Not Fade Away 29

Tiny Life 31

Independence Day 33

Identity Theft 35

Reed Lake 36


Sunset, Esztergom, 1916 41

Elizabeth and I at Sunset 42

Empire State Building, New York, 1967 43

Dancer, Paris, 1926 44

Rainy Day, Tokyo, 1968 45

Rainy Day, Paris, 1928 46

New York, 1972, Twin Towers 47

On the Duna, Haraszti, Hungary, 1920 48

Melancholic Tulip, New York, 1939 49

Chez Mondrian, Paris, 1926 50


The Great Outdoors 53

All Will Be Revealed 55

Larva Migrans 56

Post-Parting 57

Handheld 60

My Wedding Day 61

Paradise 62

A Son Imagines 63

Cantaloupe (Long Shadow of Abuse) 64

Clouds 65


Bodies 69

Fruit of the Vine 71

Work 72

Dissociation Blues 73

I Was the Bully 74

Dream 76

Miami Beach 77

Ghost Latitudes 79

Today I saw Henry Kissinger on the subway 80

Power Out 81


Nature 85

Duck 87

Borderline 89

What You Wish For 92

Picts 93

Happy 94

Grocery/Covid 95

Palimpsest 97

Vectoring 98

Aftermath 100


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