By Matthew Schwartz
What you feel
for the sustenance
inclined to a source,
enamored of singularity,
quickly right here and quickly
gone, shadow from which
the body's braveness comes.
I slapped one on my leg.
Its blood glowed.
Blessings for the arms follows a number of speakers—often disabled audio system, who by no means as soon as determine themselves as items of criticism or self-pity—through the haunted dreamscape of “normalcy.” certainly, desires are non-stop presences during this surprisingly sophisticated and chic debut assortment that juxtaposes actual situations with the substantial inside lifetime of the mind's eye. the topics of Blessings for the fingers are actual and imagined confrontations—and reconciliations—between family, acquaintances, strangers, and animals. Matthew Schwartz’s quasi-autobiographical verse complicates and clarifies the feelings ready simply beneath the styles and expectancies of the audio system’ sunlight lives, the place anger, pleasure, corporeality, and mortality all appear to collide. For Schwartz, poetry is a sleight of hand that retains the reader guessing via approximately imperceptible shifts among current imaginative and prescient and absent fact. Blessings for the Hands is a lyric reckoning of the strain among the existence we're given and the existence we're decided to lead.
“Blessings for the Hands is emotionally robust and imaginatively wild, targeted, deeply relocating, with out an ort of self-pity, and pervaded by way of ‘compassion all the way down to your fingertips’ (which Chekhov stated is ‘the purely strategy’ either to put in writing and to live). This perspective of imaginative and prescient is sharp sufficient to unify a lot disparate material. The poems are transparent and musical and as a result a excitement to learn and reread regardless of their gravity. I imagine this can be lasting work.”—Michael Ryan
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Extra resources for Blessings for the hands
We thought: friends don’t let you see that bare expectation, or how their bodies shift when they fear they can’t hide it and you can’t tell if they’re watching or not watching you or the light caught moving in your eyes. • 27 • Dead Bird You drank death down, or death drank you, drew you in, your soul fled, and blood leaks from your bones now into the street that offered itself, that grew around you, lit with you, and every day, you were brought to me, or I was brought to you and your body’s angles pointing strictly back at themselves.
This is the third Wednesday we can’t go dancing. • 46 • No matter. We feel by breathing. We hear with our steps. for Tessa Andermann • 47 • III T h e S k y I n s i d e t h e S h a k i n g Tr e e • 51 • What came before my hand to make my hand? If I squint hard enough can I see through it to the things it’s made of? When was it just a thought? If I could look up from the smallest place inside it, I’d see the huge empty spaces spinning in the atoms, through the muscles to the lines for my heart, my fate, my mind, my life.
The smallest disturbance a world of disturbance, the only certainty. Duration feeds and worries me. • 42 • 2. Kindness says leave that place, walk its edge with me, away from the ambition in every expected kindness, trying to stop thought with thought, covering your heart with your heart. The ocean is rushing back to burn you with cold. Escape the sameness of escape. • 43 • 3. Water’s cloudy grit, and the pause just before its wished-for fall— turning away, I hold both worlds as their orbits tumble and the ground slips out, bright with allowance and power.
Blessings for the hands by Matthew Schwartz