Airstream Land YachtBook - 2006
In his brilliant third collection, award-winning and critically-acclaimed poet Ken Babstock finds momentary stays against our gathering darknesses in the irrepressible, acrobatic, free play of the mind. Poems of conscience collide with the problems of consciousness, the concrete and the conceptual find equal footing, and formal beauty mixes with imagistic brinksmanship as the speaker attempts to leave our "homes half-sheathed Tyvek" and "drift into the pain of our neighbours." Like Babstock's earlier work, Airstream Land Yacht testifies to the harrowing beauty of everyday experience ("a leather recliner star /gazing on the free /side of a yard fence," "shopping /carts growing a fur of frost," a grounded kite "nose down in the crowberries and fir") while introducing an expansiveness of inquiry with linguistic bravado and a quiet grace. The clutch of love poems contained here are key to unlocking the larger collection -- itself a love song to the wordless world.
From the critics
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I chose to phone my brother, /
over whom I worried, and say so. /
He whispered, lacked affect. He'd lost /
my record collection to looming debt. I /
forgave him - through weak connections, /
through buzz and oceanic crackle - / immediately, without choosing to, /
because it was him I hadn't lost; and /
later cried myself to sleep.
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