OK, Goodnight: A Review

OK, Goodnight

By Emily Kendal Frey and Zachary Schomburg.

$5.00, 32 pages ISBN-13: 978-1-892061-37-9

“so we get inside a well together / it is quiet”

To read this new chapbook from Future Tense Books is to crawl into something deep and full.  It is non sequiturs and quick images subverting and then fattening themselves.  It is panoramic shots from inches away.

“I hid in a church all night / until a harp sound thwanged.”

It is feeling the cannons load and traps spring. I was familiar with the sinister innocence of Schomburg before this.  I was not acquainted with Frey. I am excited to meet her. The way she palms words and objects, hands them back to you unrecognizable, is at once beguiling and blunt.

“I don’t want to burn up / that’s lonely”

There is companionship in this poetry.  There is tension in the way the poems hinge on themselves.  They stretch almost all the way round, close to snapping.

“when I do things alone: / pin my back to your old twin bed”

The poems stretch the solitary into a fraternal twin of itself.  They are lonely in the backseat of a crowded sedan.  They squint at each other, daring the other to blink.

“The future bends/ across the bedspread// I say things like that”

The poems are not just self-aware, but  self-critical and sun-blind.  Their whimsy is weighted down with thick, ropy morals.

“two women lean out a window / one glows like a planet / and one is not glowing / just casting a long shadow / on the brick”

Each poem is an angle and its complement; a sun, its own eclipse; each malignancy, its own cure.

“Think of a big ship / turning around in a harbor.”

Order it here.

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