Midday at the Super-Kamiokande
These poems are HAL 9000 voiced by Kay Ryan, a Voight-Kampff test administered by Rae Armantrout.Midday at the Super-Kamiokande is part existentialist cry, part close encounters of the other kind. Think Kierkegaard in a spacesuit, Kubrik in a Left Bank café. Midday at the Super-Kamiokande draws on physics' Standard Model and Plato's Eternal Forms, Kant's transcendentalism and reality's brute facts, Augustinian grace and analytical logic. It aims to tear through abstraction with the concrete, either catastrophic - road accidents, nuclear explosions, floods, extinction, eviction, suicide - or quotidian, finding threads of love, empathy, and belief within the fray. It is by turns idealistic and cynical in the pursuit of meaning, both a resistance to rationalism and its champion. These poems delight in aphorism, paradox, puns, and wit, each stanza a closure that moves tangentially to the next, each poem more bricolage than narrative, more shuffle than playlist. These are poems with no middle. These are poems of beginnings, and of ends.
There's a brand-new law of thermodynamics waiting to be discovered in the poems of Matthew Tierney, which zip and whiz about the page with beguiling abandon. Catalyzed by the paradoxes and predicaments of the contemporary, Midday at the Super-Kamiokande forms an extended dispatch from a poet of astonishing observational powers. This book casts an eerie light from beneath its front door that will instantly pull you closer.' - Dobby Gibson, author of It Becomes You