by Ben Doyle
74 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / no illustrations
Radio, Radio, Ben Doyle’s first collection, is a book about gaps: between the transmitter and the desired, unimaginable receiver; between the prehistoric insect world and our fast-food, hot-wired culture; between words and what they just might mean. They meet us in the interstices between the moment just gone and the next one, with little agenda but to thrill, refresh, discomfit, and warn.
Doyle’s poems leap freely from sonnet to fragment to sestina to prose, searching for what they do not know. These are lyrics of a scintillant mind working at its farthest reaches. Throughout, startling images abound, along with a heated, complex musicality: “In the middle of every field, / obscured from the side by grass /or cornhusks, is a clearing where / she works burying swans alive / into the black earth” (“Radio, Radio”).
Alternately playful, grim, veritable, surreal, tempered, associative, wise, and astonished, Radio, Radiofinds its own place among the poetry of our day, a place where poems aim to be experiences — sensory, physical, and emotional as well as intellectual.
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