Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Jami Macarty reviews Conyer Clayton's TRUST ONLY THE BEASTS IN THE WATER (2019)

Jami Macarty was good enough to provide the first review of Conyer Clayton's TRUST ONLY THE BEASTS IN THE WATER (2019) over on Facebook via The Maynard; thanks so much! And of course she's launching this in Ottawa on Saturday at the big above/ground press 26th anniversary reading/launch/party!
Short-form Shout Out
(above/ground press, 2019)
by Jami Macarty, The Maynard Co-founder & Editor

Conyer Clayton’s chapbook of 23 prose poems navigates the central question: “How did we get here?” Whether coming to terms with physical trauma--“the car is there, tipping over the mud in slow motion”--or psychological trauma (related to childhood/family of original) --“My mac-and-cheese is cold. If I complain about it, I’m never allowed to eat it again”--the poems track how the psyche, at the various levels of consciousness, digests trauma and “process[es] what we take in” while alive in a world where “Every moment is an edge we nearly stumble off of.” The primary il/logic moving within the poems is that of dreams, where “We float like apples down dirty streets and... The concept of density has never actually mattered.” There’s grieving levity, there’s intelligent heart in these poems on their road that “winds perpetually upward and eternally downward and hopefully.”

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