A daring and intimate new book by the poet and memoirist Nick Flynn, "a champion of contemporary American poetry" ( Newpages )
. . . the take from his bank jobs, all of it
will come to me, if I can just get him to draw me
a map, if I can find the tree, if I can find
the shovel. And the house, the mansion he
grew up in, soon a lawyer will pass
a key across a walnut desk, but even this
lawyer will not be able to tell me where this
In My Feelings , Nick Flynn makes no claims on anyone else's. These poems inhabit a continually shifting sense of selfhood, in the attempt to contain quicksilver realms of emotional energy--from grief and panic to gratitude and understanding.
"Flynn writes of salt and ash, of things stinging and soluble, of what's left after the ravages of flood, of fire. Flynn cleans and cauterizes his wounds with the sifting and stitching of words and lines. In the title poem, which projects a grim yet circusy vision of himself as helplessly monstrous with grief, he has lined through a litany of adjectives describing feelings he wishes to disavow even as we decipher extravagant subterranean / desperate flimsy shameful crushing guarded followed by 10 more half-censored lines. Following the course of his three previous, flaying yet darkly beautiful poetry collections (The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands, 2011) and his intense memoirs (The Reenactments, 2013), Flynn grapples with the anguish of wars distant and terror close to home, his parents' tragic lives, and his own reprieve from his demons. Flynn's testimony is laced with spiritual allusions and arresting images (e.g., a fish in an aquarium under constant camera surveillance juxtaposed with teens making out in a car) and wrought with hard-won essentiality and bruised intimacy.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2015 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"In his fourth poetry collection, poet and memoirist Flynn (The Reenactments) explores appetite and grief, clarity and absurdity, in lines of great technical skill and feeling. In "Kafka," Kafka's death is echoed in the worsening condition of the speaker's father, blending impending familial and legal considerations with the surreal: "And the house, the mansion he/ grew up in, soon a lawyer will pass// a key across a walnut desk, but even this/ lawyer will not be able to tell me where this// mansion is." While several of the poems address family deaths, Flynn equally interrogates the present as it unfolds, full of as-yet uncertain significances. In "Father, Insect" the speaker's daughter contemplates her father prior to fatherhood, which leads the speaker to wonder, "When/ did want become more// than hunger, when// did need become more/ than shadow?" Biblical references in what is an intimate collection offer a sense of shared narrative and searching: "Saul was a sailor on the boat to Damascus/ He did not know what he was/ Paul turned to a voice it rose up from the waves/ It chained his boat to the darkness." Though there is grief and loss in Flynn's poems, there is comfort in life's continuity, and the unknowing is rich with possibility. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved