Tech-inspired sonnets and prose poems that decode a life through the experience of loss
Tierney’s new collection takes its title from lossless data compression algorithms. It positions the sonnet as lines of code that transmit through time and space those ‘stabs of self,’ the awareness of being that intensifies with loss of relationships, of faith, of childhood, of people.
The qualities of light, colour, and movement in the sonnets conjure a sense of arrested time, of dust motes in the air. Playing against this intimacy are loopy chapters of Borgesian prose poems – with appearances from Duns Scotus and Simone Weil, Wittgenstein, Niels Bohr and others – that extract knowledge from information to reconstruct the source experience into a subjectivity, a personality, and a life.
"Tierney tracks and backtracks in the realm of dispossession like a cross between a physicist and a magician from a future era. These poems are new forms for human heart and quiddity.” – Anne-Marie Turza, author of Fugue with Bedbug
"In this wise, wonky, poignant avowal of error and losslessness, Matthew Tierney geotags his 'freefall of associative memory,' where the past flickers presently and futures bend toward the start. Invoking the dogmas of digital media, quantum mechanics and philosophy, Lossless is the devlog of a child becoming father of the man. A 'greybeard & tweener' at once, Tierney conjures his Gen Xer youth—neighborhood bullies, the first kiss, jogging with a Walkman on—to tweak his hi-fi output as a husband and fumbling dad. Given a spacetime continuum offering 'viaducts of alternate choices,' in which everyone, at the molecular level, is 'swappable soma' at best, Tierney parses 'compossible paths' from 'incompatibilism,' trying to track the quirks and quarks of multidimensional life. In troubleshot sonnets and corrupted prose, this book is an ode to the lost art of losing gracefully." – Andrew Zawacki, author of Unsun
Tierney tracks and backtracks in the realm of dispossession like a cross between a physicist and a magician from a future era. These poems are new forms for human heart and quiddity." - Anne-Marie Turza, author of Fugue with Bedbug