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“I come here when I fear my soul/has fled forever,” says the speaker in Appearances, about a place where land, water, and sky converge.

 

In poems that take their shape from daily walks around a teeming harbor, Michael Collins meditates on nature, though not nature as “some place you visit/some museum to nostalgia through,” but as a place of meeting and confrontation between nature and civilization, art and subject, consciousness and the unconscious, life and death.

 

The poems in this sequence render images offered by both the human and natural worlds, even as the speaker knows that he “can’t reason these worlds/back together.”

 

"In shimmering poems of double vision, Michael Collins offers walking meditations of the harbor he visits when he fears 'his soul has fled forever.' Driven by the predations of the world, he circles the 'mirrors of this haven,' startled into wakefulness and linguistic wit by orphic fish, 'quacking sandals' and 'sacrosanct mallards,' recasting myth and metaphysics in poems whose inventive formal and visual inversions upend any sense of solidity.  We know from the title--Appearances--that things are not as they seem, but these poems poised at land's end reveal the marvelous seam that joins all worlds in one."

 

--J. C. Todd, author of What Space This Body

 

ISBN 978-0-9969074-5-3

2017

$16 (Kindle $4.99)

Michael Collins

Appearances