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Vanishing Acts (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)

$15.95 (as of November 15, 2018, 5:28 pm) & FREE Shipping. Details $12.57

Description

In Vanishing Acts, Brian Barker cements his reputation as certainly one of latest poetry’s great surrealists. These prose poems read like dreams and nightmares, fables and myths. With a dark whimsicality, Barker explores such topics as extinction, power, class, the consequences of tyranny and war, and the ongoing destruction of our surroundings within the name of progress.

A linked sequence of poems forms the book’s backbone, with an oracular voice from the future heralding the return—or was hoping for return—of common animals. Part lyrical odes, part creation myths, part excerpts from a ordinary guide for naturalists, these poems mix fact and fiction, science and fable to create an unsettling vision of a dystopian world stricken by extinction, one where the world’s last catfish sleeps “within the shadow of a hydroelectric dam.” The imaginative language and ordinary stories of these poems are perfectly suited to capture a world that no longer makes sense: a man who wears a toupee to hide an injury inflicted by secret police, a group of villagers who make a bad bargain with a land agent.

The poems in Vanishing Acts straddle the comic and the tragic. They’re by turns funny and haunting and ripe with scathing satire. They draw at the genres of speculative and science fiction up to poetic traditions, and speak to the precarious state of man and the wildlife within the twenty-first century.
 

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