Archive | October, 2014

New Book

17 Oct

You Are Indeed (3)

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Kyle McCord’s You Are Indeed an Elk, but This Is Not the Forest You Were Born to Graze consists of thirty single-stanza wonders of the world—ferociously associative, disjunctively digressive, and melodiously surprising wherever they roam. Their acro-battery blasts of talky power are rich with joy and pathos, not to mention also an abiding, and sometimes biting, ambivalence toward both the meadow of contemporary American culture and “the unspeakable acts of kindness/ we committed together.” This is a wonderfully tricked-out barrage of a book, the “wild life” in “wildlife,” and especially for you.—Matt Hart, author of Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless

I love the roaming and attentive eye through which we are invited to experience Kyle McCord’s new book, You Are Indeed an Elk, but This Is Not the Forest You Were Born to Graze . Here are poems at once mystic, intimate, hilarious, and completely enamored with the impossible world–“the smoothest crest / of skyline smirked by a river / without a single thing to lose / itself inside” is just one way this book amazingly imagines living and loving with others. I too, feel that some days “decorum may be all I have.” Thank God this book reminds me that I’m wrong. –Wendy Xu, author of You Are Not Dead

In this, Kyle McCord’s fourth collection, someone is always doing something ill-advised. There’s both trespassing (going where you shouldn’t) and trespassing (doing what you shouldn’t, or “sinning”– a word that has its etymological roots in archery: sinning as “missing the mark.” In other words, the “sinner” has tried to do right and failed). I’ve come to admire characters/ speakers/ real actual people who live bravely enough to sin in that kind of way. And McCord’s speaker is heroic as he journeys, slaughters, and devotes himself to potentially dangerous love affairs. I find this book’s title unusually helpful: “Sure, you’re a an elk, but you’re not supposed to be doing that otherwise acceptable elk-thing here!” which, of course, my brain translates to “Sure, you’re a human, and you’re trying to be good at that by doing things you know humans do, but don’t do it that way!” So. What I’m saying is that this book is wondering how to live rightly. I wonder that all the time, so I’m glad someone as thoughtful and inventive as Kyle McCord is wondering with me. –Hannah Gamble, author of Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast