MxT, or ‘Memory x Time,’ is one of the formulas acclaimed poet Sina Queyras posits as a way to measure grief. These poems mourn the dead by turning memories over and over like an old coin, by invoking other poets, by appropriating the language of technology, of instruction, of diagram, of electrical engineering, and of elegy itself. Devastating, cheeky, allusive, hallucinatory: this is Queyras at her most powerful.
Autobiography of Childhood
The Combals are not unacquainted with death: they have never quite recovered from the loss of one of them in childhood. And now, on Valentine's Day, they are losing another.
Guddy races to see her sister, Jerry and Bjarne avoid the phone and its news, Jean finds himself on a beach, and Annie fends off her mother's persistent questions about what's happening. And Therese tries to forgive them all before it's too late.
As each is forced to face the news of Therese's impending death, their actions weave a nuanced portrait of a family, of the devastating reach of childhood grief.
What if thinking is all we have at the end of the day? What if how we react really is all we can control?
Echoing the pastoral and elegiac modes of the Romantic poets, whose reverence for nature never prevented them from addressing it with all the ideas and sensibilities their times allowed, this collection explores the infrastructures and means of modern mobility. Addressing the human project not so much as something imposed on nature but as an increasingly disturbing activity within it, Expressway exposes the paradox of modern mobility: the more roads and connections we build, the more separate we feel. 'Cleanse the doors of perception,' Blake urged, and with that in mind, Queyras has written a bravely lyrical critique of our ethical and ecological imprint, a legacy easily blamed on corporations and commerce, but one we've allowed, through our tacit acquiescence, to overwhelm us. Every brush stroke, every bolt and nut, every form and curve in our networks of oil and rubber, every thought and its material outcome — each decision can make or unmake us.