A buddy-cop dramedy starring a bottle of Advil and a headache that won’t quit
Imagine you’re standing in a room, and someone on the other side of the door won’t stop knocking – ever. Welcome to Andrew Faulkner’s world of the never-ending, low-grade headache, a medical issue resolved only by striking up a committed relationship with the slippery miracle that is Advil. Through direct address, sideways glances, lyrical interludes and deep consideration of what it means to overcome a condition when living is a part of the condition itself, these poems observe the speaker’s world as it crowds around him, coming into sharper and specific focus, from the hard wisdom of saints on suffering and a slightly unhinged Caravaggio on the metaphysics of painting, through to the deep meaning of a hot dog and a thoroughly botched retelling of a Norm Macdonald joke. Throughout it all, Advil whirls around like an unruly tornado of a sidekick, snapping Polaroids and “searching for a cloud that resembles a plausible end-of-life scenario. ”
Think of this collection as a meditation on how to deal with pain and uncertainty when life itself is an uncertain, painful mess. These are poems that acknowledge the shakiness of the ground we stand on. The opening poem wonders: “If you stay with the shakiness through its conjugations? Who knows. ” But don’t worry. Advil’s on the case and aims to find out.