Reading the haunted, masterful poems of Ralph Angel is like being gently dropped into the ever-fluctuating substance of the day. The temperature is around 70 degrees. One could be in a languorous painting, riding this brushstroke and then the next, or just as easily, in a room somewhere, in LA, Seattle, Amsterdam, the Mediterranean . . . on a train, in a plaza. Eventually the treacherous crevices and schisms arrive, where, everyday, we break down. All the guilt, pain, beauty, love and loathing of being alive is populated by figures who speak, speak back, and then through an omniscient, doubtful and pained visionary. This isYour Moon. It truly is. “Of human unfinished. / The spirit in time.”
Ralph Angel possesses what every poet dreams of—a warm heart and a cold eye—and all of his poems have a foothold between Everything and Nothing, the place each of us lives in day in and day out, though we seldom recognize or admit it the way these poems do. Many of them unfold like a ravishing film to which a voice-over adds such haunting commentary we are surprised to reach the end and realize we have been reading. His vernacular arrests me. A thread of wild and somber beauty runs through this book by one of America's most original poets.
New Issues Poetry and Prose
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