Reviews in 200 Words

Four of a Kind by Mark Neely

In Poetry (chapbook) on December 1, 2010 at 4:15 pm
There is nothing more intimate than knowing a thing four ways. A chef, truly in awe of an ingredient will cook it four ways—know everything about how it breaks down and comes to life. Four directions, four corners, four seasons, four elements of nature. There’s repetition here, the way siblings are the same: exactly and not at all. Each piece offers something new–an amendment to the whole. Being first isn’t everything, ain’t anything at all. Being is the thing, brother. Neely leaks subtle genius into these characters like fossils into stone. They are practiced; mantras—said so many times that the words take on new meaning. Like tenants of the same apartment–living separate lives but critically connected. You know these people–you think about what they say and how they act because they’re so much like you. The most human people in the world. How terrible to catch the thing you’re after. A square: a square of squares, but also a circle—no necessary starting point or ending point. No sure order. How many worlds do you see when you look out a window? How many worlds do you miss when you think you’ve seen it all?

-Micah Ling


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