"Mylar bears the grace and stringent inquisitiveness of Elizabeth Bishop’s North & South and Marianne Moore’s Observations. Wertheimer gives us a world as delicately confounded as the persons who live in it. The lucidity with which Mylar documents vicissitudes of weathering (“The world leaked and was confused/And large knowing birds/Came to rescue its unnerving nestedness”) is matched by a lyric voice whose meticulous fortitude assuages just enough. We are enough consoled by Wertheimer’s elegant intelligence to continue searching for what in distress we might otherwise overlook, “a burned femur buried safe/ in an old velvet bag.” It’s nearly too easy, in the manner of mylar balloons, to say these poems teach us new relations to gravity and occasion. More than this, Mylar’s tensile lines instruct in the ligatures between the earth beneath out feet and a differently unsteady horizon beyond reaching. As gifted a poet as he is a scholar, Wertheimer understands the volatility of Emersonian transcendence, the equivocal auspiciousness of “see there, it’s you too,// there’s some thing in you.” Such lines succinctly speak to the dangers and gifts of this idiosyncratic, quietly brilliant work."
—Michael Snediker, author of Bourdon and Nervous Pastoral
“Where we live, we live in cars,” Eric Wertheimer writes in Mylar, of an eerily postmodern city where “Dust storm at the mirror of stars.” Wertheimer locates us in an at-times gorgeously realized lyric moment—a perfectly rhymed couplet, for instance, or the sly grammatique of this deftly languaged poetry. The visionary range of Wertheimer’s poetic dictions across centuries is riveting, and the swerve to tender, embodied attentiveness and vulnerability so moving. Mylar is miracle.
—Cynthia Hogue, author of Or Consequence and The Incognito Body
"Eric Wertheimer’s Mylar is both a gentle and pointed guidebook on what it means to be fully human. Every poem in this book captures a moment—of isolation and the arbitrary films of thought that separate us from each other, to the lightness (and joy, and terror), when those barriers dissolve—that must be recognized, accepted, and shared. "
—Bonnie Nadzam, author of Lamb
"Eric Wertheimer's poems touch what is near and far way, the drift and distraction of everyday life that envelops and eludes us. In these poems, things as wonderful strange as mylar balloons and a rabbit tracking through time and symbols arrest and surprise us. Look: a "mountain rising suddenly in a doorframe." And there: "miniature satin hands." Life moving as slow and as fast as a sentence, poems refracting what adheres to the mind and senses: the odor of rubber, shadow on cinderblock, silver berry bark, fishtank light. There is a lot colliding in the world, making the conscience of these poems active and resigned. Allusions and keen reason, like a pair of mismatch socks, try to straighten things out - and sometimes do. There is a sky pitched by Wallace Steven, Ben Franklin holding onto his kite, Geronimo hiding in a cave, and Helen Keller, who - imagine - "might decode what is there." Might. All this happens in poems lit with sunlight in some too hot desert place, a life of cars and malls, wise daughters, strained loves, and entanglements with language that has to be nudged to be just right. It's like poetry should be in the waft of what happens. "Do you make the exceptions in your mind and, from small nearby wisdom, persist in loving error?" Wertheimer asks. Well, do you?"
—Arthur Sabatini, author of Who Walks
Eric Wertheimer lives in the desert with Mili, Dani, Aya, and Tupac, where he is Professor of English and American Studies at Arizona State University. He is the author of Underwriting: The Poetics of Insurance in America (Stanford University Press, 2006) and Imagined Empires: Incas, Aztecs, and the New World of American Literature, 1771-1876 (Cambridge University Press, 1998). He has published his poems in a variety of journals over the past ten years. His other book projects include: Pretexts: War and Writing in the Early Republic, and Within Trauma: Politics, Poetics, Praxis.
· Paperback: 100 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 978-1-60964-086-6
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