Blessings for the hands by Matthew Schwartz

By Matthew Schwartz

From The Sky contained in the Shaking Tree

What you feel
reveals you.
for the sustenance
inclined to a source,
enamored of singularity,
quickly the following and quickly
gone, shadow from which
the body's braveness comes.
apparently stumbling.
I slapped one on my leg.
Its blood glowed.
Blessings for the arms follows numerous 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, goals are non-stop presences during this strangely refined and stylish debut assortment that juxtaposes actual conditions with the big inside lifetime of the mind's eye. the themes of Blessings for the fingers are genuine and imagined confrontations—and reconciliations—between relations, acquaintances, strangers, and animals. Matthew Schwartz’s quasi-autobiographical verse complicates and clarifies the sentiments 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 lifestyles we're given and the lifestyles we're decided to lead.
Blessings for the Hands is emotionally robust and imaginatively wild, particular, deeply relocating, with no an ort of self-pity, and pervaded by means of ‘compassion right down to your fingertips’ (which Chekhov stated is ‘the in simple terms process’ either to write down 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 accordingly a excitement to learn and reread regardless of their gravity. I imagine this can be lasting work.”—Michael Ryan

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23 • R e min d e rs t o a Fr i e n d , t o Myself 1. The personality test said you would’ve made an excellent detective if you hadn’t made up stories inside the simulated crime scenes— an animal skulking in the stairwell with a clue, a scroll with the errand you’ll rush for, the wrong turn that knows more about the story than you do— in any new desire, the danger of familiar need. • 24 • 2. The ogre buries fear so far inside your body that you need to unearth it from his underground house. The walls stink from the effort of his sneer, your dearest effort shed, not in the body anymore but for it, not in fear anymore but for it.

The walls stink from the effort of his sneer, your dearest effort shed, not in the body anymore but for it, not in fear anymore but for it. Desire for desire, creature for creature, put your ear to the ground, the tree, the air, to what you were convinced you couldn’t hear, and listen— • 25 • Lightness I hadn’t noticed the cricket until everything was quiet. It became a massive note I could never find, and carried me. Clouds loom like statues. The unprepared roads will flood. In from the garden, I let the ants scurry over my legs and arms.

Whenever I’m quiet for too long, she starts to worry, but she tries not to, stops herself sometimes from having to rescue me, having to presume some fear of mine, and name it. Afterwards, she says she thought I’d learned to talk better at parties, in large groups. I ask her if I can just be quiet without her worrying, and she asks, when do you think I worry? Doesn’t she remember the party when she mentioned to ten people that after twenty-five, the body stops producing new bone, and everyone should really eat more calcium?

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