Synopses & Reviews
Poetry. "A PLATE OF CHICKEN is a masterpiece of subtlety and frailty, a series of glimpses, thought-fragments, coping devices, and simple declarative sentences. 'My function,' Rohrer writes, 'is to be in love between two people who hate each other,' and to this end he serves the gods of sentence and line simultaneously. This gathering of seven-line stanzas opens a door to a blanket of white noise, like Brian Eno's Music for Airports, and never lets up"--Lewis Warsh.
"'I remember it vividly, where I was, the day I learned not to fear mental phenomena,' declares the prolific Rohrer (Rise Up) in this 55-part series of seven-line poems, each line a sentence long. What is thinking, and where do thoughts come from? Rohrer, in a state of startling tranquillity, looks within and without for answers and delivers an astounding array of possibilities, sometimes reaching into the ephemeral ('I wake indistinguishable from the washed-out morning') and sometimes happily insular ('I feel like I really am my thoughts'). Either way, the act of connecting to one's own mind, to the world outside of the mind and to both simultaneously is the supreme thrust of the book, and it is impossible to resist participating in this nonchalant adventure in metaphysical perception. Full of unforgettable, aphoristic lines ('I have to go up to the roof to polish the moon'; 'I'm on the subway where the mind is meaningless'), this beautifully designed book including flip-book style illustrations that, from back to front, depict the disappearance of a plate of chicken though small, has a huge capacity to stimulate and surprise. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Matthew Rohrer is the author of A Hummock in the Malookas (which won the 1994 National Poetry Series Open Competition), SATELLITE, A GREEN LIGHT (short-listed for the 2005 Griffin International Poetry Prize), RISE UP, and A PLATE OF CHICKEN. With Joshua Beckman he wrote NICE HAT. THANKS. and recorded the audio CD ADVENTURES WHILE PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF BEAUTY. He's appeared on NPR's All Things Considered and The Next Big Thing, has been awarded the Avery Hopwood Prize for poetry and a Pushcart Prize, and has been widely anthologized. A chapbook-length action/adventure poem They All Seemed Asleep was published by Octopus Books in 2008. He teaches in the creative writing program at NYU and lives in Brooklyn.