Thursday, August 4, 2016

What I've Read: Trébuchet by Danniel Schoonebeek

Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

The poems of Trébuchet are perfect for the nebulous social chaos of 2016. Stark, skillful, and unsentimental, these poems steel their focus on a world at the precipice of collapse. The tone and thematic tensions are established early; in the introduction Schoonebeek warns, “These poems were written to put you on a government watch list”. In the rest of the poem (as well as the poems that follow) the narrative is underscored by a playful, anxious kind of interpellation, best illustrated when Schoonebeek writes, “If these poems don’t throw themselves through your windows please burn them.”

The poems frequently veer into the territory of nihilism and paranoia, but manage to do so without cheapening or compromising the social critique at the heart of the collection. Trébuchet is deftly experimental in its styling and structure, and each individual poem carries its weight into the thrilling culmination found in “Dark-Eyed Junco Was Her Name”.

A startling, striking, and demanding book that rewards you with poems both finely-tuned and unforgettable.

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