Misrepresented People: Poetic Responses to Trumps America

Maria Isabel Alvarez and Dante Di Stefano

New York Quarterly Books ($21.95)

 

Anonymous White House reports say Melania reads the anthology while weeping, wearing her “I DON’T REALLY CARE” jacket, devouring Godiva chocolate truffles, and watching CNN.

*

Rail

Kai Carlson-Wee

BOA Editions ($16.00)

 

The title refers to “Railways as a means of transport,” not to be confused with “rail” as in “Complain or protest strongly and persistently about,” which applies to the official Lit Critics of Anders Carlson-Wee (see “A Poem in The Nation Spurs a Backlash and an Apology,” New York Times, 8/2/2018).

*

Hammer with No Master

Rene Char, tr. Nancy Naomi Carlson

Tupelo Press ($19.95)

 

Cento review; “O useless lips!  Great wheelbarrow of bogs.  / The poet will go to bed in love. / Forget the torched mental temptress.  The first head to roll. / When tortured the poet raves a monstrous chant.  / I hear pure eyes, magnetic chains, a trail of gunpowder.  / Don’t suffer for Andre Breton.”

*

The Complete Cold Mountain: Poems of the Legendary Hermit Hanshan

Hanshan, tr. Kazuaki Tanahashi and Peter Levitt

Shambhala ($18.95)

 

Cento review: “Regardless of rain / How can you sit with me / lush Cold Mountain / in the midst of white clouds / Think of wrens / Make fun of fish / in a royal golden cage. / Don’t suffer for Andre Breton.”

*

American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

Terrance Hayes

Penguin ($18.00)

 

Follow these simple steps: Blow up the sonnet.  Reassemble.  Blow up the sonnet.  Reassemble.  Reassemble the sonnet.  Blow it up.

*

The Collected Poems of Li He

Li He, tr. J. D. Frosham

Calligrams ($22.95)

 

O.K, we get it, he’s one of us: “Li He is the bad-boy poet of the late Tang dynasty. He began writing at the age of seven and died at twenty-six from alcoholism or, according to a later commentator, ‘sexual dissipation,’ or both.”

*

The Wounded Alphabet: Collected Poems

George Hitchcock

Tavern Books ($17.00)

 

Plot Summary: The pilot with pinwheel eyes calmly tells the passengers not to worry; the plane has lost all engines; he is a surrealist; the plane needs no engines or jet fuel; they will now propel the plane by rapidly blinking their eyes.

*

One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each

A Treasury of Classical Japanese Verse

Tr. Peter MacMillan

Penguin ($13.00)

 

Not to be confused with One Hundred Poets, One Hundred Poetry Prizes Each or One Hundred Egos, One Hundred Thousand Poems Each or One Hundred Poets, One Poem Over and Over.

*

Father’s on the Phone with the Flies

Herta Müller

Tr. Thomas Cooper

The German List ($24.50)

 

Plot summary: The flies on the phone with mother.  Mother on the flies behind father.  Father flies on mother on the phone with father and the flies applaud their phoned-in applause.

*

Directions for Use

Ana Ristovic

Tr. Steven Teref and Maja Teref

Zephyr Press ($15.00)

 

Not to be confused with Aleksandar Ristovic, the author’s father, who wrote Devil’s Lunch.  She offers these words to live by, words her father would no doubt agree with: “The more I read, the less / I know about poetry . . .” and “Poetry is cursed.”

*

Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl

Diane Seuss

Graywolf ($16.00)

 

Cento review: “Van Gogh ate paint.  I fall in love again like Cornelius Nobertus Gijsbrechts / my own badness / downward, into the earth. / Then I learned that fucking had to do with a pipefitter at SeaWorld.  If these legs could talk.  Don’t suffer for Andre Breton.”

*

Li Shangyin

Li Shangyin

Tr. Chloe Garcia Roberts

NYRB ($16.00)

 

Cento review: “Then I met the Furred Woman / Chasing sweetness, I’m somehow drunk / I remember, sharkmaid silk / Sleeping alone. / I am already broken inside / Fluff flies. / Sleeping on the pillow of my hand / Let this poem / awake from intoxication, Andre Breton.”

*

Counting Descent

Clint Smith

Write Bloody Publishing ($15.00)

 

Not to be confused with Clint Smith, Marine Corps veteran, President and Director of Thunder Ranch, author of Urban Rifle: 45 Years of Teaching and Training.

*

New and Selected Poems of Cecelia Vicuna

Cecilia Vicuna

Kelsey Street Press ($35.00)

 

Note: The high cost of this volume, Wilbur Ross has explained, is due to the tariff on Chilean books critical of the CIA.  This tariff will be dropped when the CIA will be welcomed and justly celebrated by all artists throughout Chile.