Synopses & Reviews
At first glance these poems (which read like one long odyssey) seem sweet and peaceful—like taking a walk in the woods. But then, things turn darker: a storm blows in—and with it some Aliens, Ghost and Ghoul, the Hanging Man. Luckily, Carlyle has a few good friends such as Ruth, the Hag, the Boy, who are staunch and true and faithful. A whistling-in-the-dark suspense alternately stimulates and enervates the witness.
“Carlyle is spore, and mild. / He is swoon &sherbet.” Endearing and kind, if not actually cruel, he is also cold and strange. He shapeshifts, transforming into Magician and Jester, Surgeon and Scientist, Cloud; he studies fire and mirrors and bores holes in his own skull, looking for heaven. Throughout his many adventures, which range from the ludicrous to the life-threatening, he flies into the light and carries the reader with him on his perplexing and fanciful journey.
“‘We live in the mind. . . [and] if we live in the mind, we live with the imagination,’ says Stevens, naturally. Time spent with Dainis Hazners’ imaginary friend Mr. C goes beyond life-affirmation. This interior epic is so sonically—‘his song is like a forge / at full fire’—and conceptually animate that I feel augmented, awakened to a living that is simultaneously ‘many-shaded white’ and —sprung with darkness.’”—Ben Doyle, author of Radio, Radio