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Mayakovsky's Revolver: Poems


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Gabriel Boehmer, March 16, 2013 (view all comments by Gabriel Boehmer)
In a The Rumpus review of "Mayakovsky's Revolver," Brachah Goykadosh calls out the "exuberant and playful" qualities of Matthew Dickman sprinkled in this collection of elegies -- qualities that remind her of Frank O'Hara. She's right on. Both poets can make us smile on command. In the wonderfully titled "Morning With Pavese," Matthew summons an ernest Italian poet from the grave in an imaginative riff on relief from grief: "One morning / something even better will happen, Pavese will be alive / again. He'll cough up his barbiturates, / wipe his mouth and not be sad. He'll still be a communist / but that's OK." Like the jacket promises, the book is a "celebration in the dark." Read it tonight.
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Katsuya, December 27, 2012 (view all comments by Katsuya)
Ok, maybe I'm biased, but I really thought this book was great. Matthew Dickman is one of my favorite poets but as with any author/band/artist/etc I was a little concerned that his sophomore effort would not live up to the love I have for his first book. This book is certainly different from "All-American Poem," but it shows maturity, depth, and Dickman's signature humor. This book deals a lot with the death of Dickman's brother, among other topics. So, it will probably depress you, but it's totally worth it.
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Product Details

Dickman, Matthew
W. W. Norton & Company
Single Author / American
Poetry-A to Z
Publication Date:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Mayakovsky's Revolver: Poems New Hardcover
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$25.95 In Stock
Product details 112 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393081190 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The central sequence of Dickman's raw, frightening, well-told second collection commemorates his deceased brother, remembering their shared delinquent years, their attraction to drink and prescription drugs, and the severe mental illness that disfigured his brother's adulthood. Around that 13-section elegy Dickman arranges other recollections of youth, lust, and strife, 'my teenage mystery and finger, my skateboard and Circle Jerks album,/ all those ghosts like birds-of-paradise/ being lifted out of the dark.' Death is for Dickman's late brother 'your little love, your hot nipple-action/ of fear, a train/ in the dark before it breaks,' while the tranquilizer Halcion once seemed to the poet a necessity of life: 'I can feel you melt on my tongue like a naked girl wearing a diamond/ crown, standing barefoot on a bed of ice.' Dickman's jagged lines connect his own and his family's self-destructive impulses to the Russian modernism of Vladimir Mayakovsky, who shot himself, and to other eminent modernists. Do not confuse the deceased brother, never named here, with Matthew's twin Michael, also an eminent poet. Even jaded readers could be won over by the last, longest poem, in which Dickman pivots to the present, listing persuasive reasons to live." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "While references to punk rock, digital culture, and club drugs help Mayakovsky's Revolver resemble the America that twentysomethings grew up in, Dickman's collection also humanizes these cultural touchstones....By locating humanity within this progressive cultural moment, Dickman's work stands in contrast to current trends among young poets."
"Synopsis" by , From a dazzling, award-winning young poet, a collection that paints life as a celebration in the dark.
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