Absent Receiver – Michael Flatt
Joshua Ware Reviews Absent Receiver – Vouched Books
Poetry. Michael Flatt’s ABSENT RECEIVER is a love poem of physicality and distance, music and musicality, reverberations and delays. In Flatt’s formally adventurous fragments, memory competes with resignation, false memories are invented, and language is re-purposed to sometimes humorous, sometimes withering ends. Popular music, professional hockey, and French surrealism are given equal consideration by this speaker, but above all there is the hope that you are outside the car, that “you [will pull] me back into the snow.”
“Sparking with desire, anger, wit, and intelligence, this brilliant book refuses to still. Lines ricochet back and forth across the page; this is “the dialogue of the mind with itself” amped up, charged and singing. Flatt’s voice
is terrifically awake to the subtleties of emotion without ever becoming solipsistic. Rather, longing is constantly refracted against precisely rendered details of the world out there: the “swing of the red sun burning,” the fallen tree a “pitchfork bouquet.” Street, barroom, bedroom: all brilliantly observed, transformed into lines thrillingly alive. With an ironically tinted audacity that reminds me of Apollinaire or Schuyler, Flatt makes Eros a way of seeing, a reason to write.”
“I read this book TWICE IN ONE SITTING, and will do so again!! If signals were sent from a large melancholy dial, Michael Flatt has the code broken. It only appears melancholy, a note reverberating along goose bumps of the future not being the future we once thought it to be. Levels of cool air across open fields share space with mouths of mic and speaker, one breathing in, the other out. It’s a sensationalway to the poems Michael Flatt has for us, dressed up to dress us all down. You want to record them to play them backwards for the uncolonization of where the mind mistakenly thinks it’s encircling the lines. GRAB this experience of poetry!!”
Michael Flatt is an associate editor for Counterpath and Field Editorial. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in 1913:A journal of forms, The Destroyer, Horse Less Review, SpringGun, 32 Poems, and elsewhere. His reviews of poetry and fiction have appeared in Colorado Review, New Pages, Octopus Magazine, and Cutbank. He’s published an article entitled “Too Red a Herring: The Unattainable Self in The Unnamable” in Samuel Beckett Today / Aujourd’hui, and is the vocalist of Denver hardcore band Sherman to the Fucking Sea.