True to its title, The Loves and Wars of Relative Scale is a community of poems that address ideas of perspective, of proximity—of what happens when the large-scale universe collides with our human-scale joys and disasters. But this collection is not a dry treatment of its subject: love affairs, a dramatic encounter with whales, and visits to famous consciousness-altering historic moments all lead up to a bravura narrative poem about Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, the first person to recognizably see the submicroscopic world. Poems brief, long, contemplative, comic . . . two time National Book Critics Circle Award-winner Albert Goldbarth delivers another dynamic experience.
About the Author
I can’t see the railroad tracks
from my hotel window,
but the surface of the water
in my bedside glass
trembles all the same: invisible
channels of conduction,
and a sensitive receiver.
I can’t hear, not exactly,
the couple in the room next door
—I can’t tell if the passion
is crazy anger or is crazy sex—
but the syrups
in my bones are shirred all night,
as if they’re hummed on.