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Spleen Elegy by Jason Labbe

Price: $16.00

Spleen Elegy Jason Labbe BlazeVOX [books]

Let’s twin and twine together two primary aspects of how America can see herself—the good atoms of Whitman’s leaves of grass, and the engines humming their freedom on the highways that cut across those 19th century fields. Now, Jason Labbe well knows, as Whitman’s atoms become pixels, we find ourselves at a crossroads, learning again and again the consequences of “the indescribable way you shape / a past of little use.” Seeking to find that law or logic to shattering, be it in the memory-echo of personal trauma caught on infinite loop in the mind, or be it the dismal virtualities of the post-modern ether, the poems of Spleen Elegy unfold their rueful nostalgia: “I have something accurate to say that lacks perspective.” That may well be the very accuracy we most need, riding the routes of America, the byways and frontage roads, seeking anyone who is willing for a poem or two to see.

—Dan Beachy-Quick


"A chunk of broken tar”—that's the color of this book. And the sound of this book is "a train in the static." Its poems count time in "decaseconds of dusk." To read this book is to feel the uneasy passivity and unerring stuckness, the particular absurdity, of certain citizens stuck in this millennium. So many lines made me laugh. And sigh. But not cry. Jason Labbe is great at melancholy. Baudelaire's mosquito is definitely here: "I am Past / who passing lit and sucked your life and left." The future is unthinkable and unalterable. Except. Except! Lucretius' swerve is also here. Atoms may veer randomly, which is extra significant in a book that takes place mostly on the road. "My sutures are beautiful as a tread pattern," he says, and it is easy (and dangerous) to fall in love with Labbe's strangled version of optimism.

—Darcie Dennigan

Jason Labbe’s poems, reviews, and nonfiction have appeared widely in such venues as Poetry, A Public Space, Boston Review, Conjunctions, Colorado Review, DIAGRAM, Ephemeroptera, Indiana Review, Gulf Coast, and in a handful of chapbooks, including Dear Photographer (Phylum Press) and Blackwash Canal (H_NGM_N BKS). A former Henry Hoyns Fellow, he has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Connecticut, and Southern Connecticut State University. He is also a drummer and recording engineer and has worked with many artists in New England and New York City.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 102 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-298-3

$16

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