Poetry. THE MAN SUIT, a darkly comic debut from poet Zachary Schomburg, assembles a macabre cast of doppelgängers, talking animals and dead presidents in poems that explore concepts of identity, truth and fate. The resulting body of work walks a dynamic line—often reading like anecdotal fables or cautionary tales in the form of prose poems. Through it all, Schomburg balances irony with sincerity; wit with candor; and a playful tone with the knowledge of inevitable sorrow.
"The often funny yet haunting prose and verse poems of this eagerly anticipated debut deal with the subtle and unexpected ways things can transform, usually just beneath an observer's awareness.... Schomburg may be one of the sincerest surrealists around."—Publishers Weekly
"Zachary Schomburg is a wildly imaginative poet who will take you many places you've never been or even dreamed of, always with grace and quirky humor. Whether you are caught in Abraham Lincoln's Death Scene or the Sea of Japan, you are certain to enjoy the original vision of this highly entertaining poet. It's a book like no other."—James Tate
"Zachary Schomburg's THE MAN SUIT comes to us from the past but it is a thoroughly new book. It comes to us out of the familiar and it strikes us in the face with its novelty. You will recognize your own history, the history of our nation, the influence of Mad Magazine and Benjamin Peret. And underneath it all, and what holds it all together, however unlikely, is the deep and abiding love of the little things that make up our days."—Matthew Rohrer
"It is a rare and fine thing when a poet momentarily affiliates his words and his cadences with the entirety of a world, thus freeing his poem from all burden of mediation, all transgression. In our own era, René Char and Pablo Neruda come most vividly to mind in this regard. With THE MAN SUIT, Zachary Schomburg, quietly but with deep conviction, begins to join their company. His book is a blessing."—Donald Revell
Zachary Schomburg is the author of THE MAN SUIT (Black Ocean, 2007), SCARY, NO SCARY (Black Ocean, 2009), FJORDS VOL. 1 (Black Ocean, 2012) and THE BOOK OF JOSHUA (Black Ocean, 2014). He co-does Octopus Books and Octopus Magazine. He lives in Portland, OR.From Publishers Weekly:
The often funny yet haunting prose and verse poems of this eagerly anticipated debut deal with the subtle and unexpected ways things can transform, usually just beneath an observer's awareness. In "Postcard from the Arctic Ocean" the speaker can "make smoke signals/ by burning/ these postcards/ by the handful." With similarly flippant but persistent gestures, Schomburg pushes at the boundaries of logic. He asks for a willing suspension of disbelief and of order. Non sequitur and clever opposition govern this world: a homicidal monster– cum–TV celebrity is fired in favor of a "gorilla dressed in people clothes"; in "I'm Not Carlos," "tree machines" dial up the poem's speaker, calling him Carlos and demanding he hand over "the Man Suit." A poem called "I've Since Folded This Poem into an Airplane" admits Schomburg's comfort with the self-conscious and reflexive in poetry. If a few of these poems are slight, the best of them imbue whimsy with high emotional stakes, suggesting this collection's casualness has been carefully wrought. Schomburg may be one of the sincerest surrealists around. (Apr.)
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