Friday, April 24, 2015

Featured Book: Bird Watching at the End of the World, by Lisa Mangini

Bird Watching at the End of the World. Lisa Mangini. Cherry Grove, 2014.
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Lisa Mangini holds an MFA from Southern Connecticut State University. She is the author of the poetry collection, Bird Watching at the End of the World, as well as the poetry chapbooks Slouching Towards Entropy (Finishing Line Press) and Immanuel Kant vs God (Red Bird Chapbooks), and a fiction chapbook, Perfect Objects in Motion (Red Bird Chapbooks), all released in 2014. She has been nominated for Best of the Net and Best New Poets, and won the 2011 Connecticut Poetry Prize. Her work has been featured in McSweeney's, Weave, Words Dance, Silver Birch Press, and elsewhere. She is the founding editor of Paper Nautilus, and teaches English composition and creative writing at handful of colleges in southern New England.

Bird Watching at the End of the World explores the consequences of living in a body, the psyches of philosophers, and the tenuous nature of human connection. Using a range of poetic styles from formal verse to sprawling prose, this collection returns again and again to the persistence of doubt—even toward those we love the most.

Fabulous in their diction, the poems of Lisa Mangini present a world of sadness and grace, particle and wave. Victims of the body, shadowed by the eighth Deadly Sin—not to be loved—these lovely vessels stuffed with philosophical gleanings and lyrical meditations make possible a future for poetry, and thus, for us.”(Alan Michael Parker)

Every Time We Go to Ikea

it’s raining.  It starts as a light spray
across the windshield, so slight the wipers squeal
against the glass. But there’s no fighting

against the allure of clean lines, the illusion
of better organization, despite that no
number of cubed shelves can tidy up a life.

And every time, there is a young woman
assessing the sturdiness of a crib, sometimes alone,
sometimes with a man or her mother beside her,

and I do my best not to meet your eyes.  Every time
we weave through the model kitchens, I make a bee line
to the sink — farm apron, stainless steel, undermount —

and press my palms against its cool basin; if it’s not
crowded, you’ll lean your hips along my back, rest
your chin on my shoulder, trying to see what it is

I’m seeing.  We’ll look for a chest of drawers
for your apartment, debating Malm versus Hopen,
birch finish or espresso, and I’ll scribble

their dimensions in inches with a tiny golf pencil.
We’ll emerge with a cardboard box on a dolly
to a downpour, and against your wishes, I’ll insist

on moving the car to the loading area myself. Every time,
I will lose a sandal while running in the slick lot
and have to turn back to retrieve it.  We’ll maneuver

the box in some impossible diagonal in the back seat
of the sedan, wipe the rain from our faces, prepare
ourselves to go home and build something.

Other Poems: 

Found Poetry Review

Lunch Ticket

Click Here to Purchase

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