Brian Henry

Just before I left sleep behind
I borrowed a series of chords
so I could swerve my way through
the days I saw yawning in front
of me like graves freshly dug ...

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The Ghost Names Sing by Dennis Haskell & Album of Domestic Exiles by Andrew Sant

by
February–March 1998, no. 198

Both Dennis Haskell and Andrew Sant are primarily domestic poets. Family and friends comprise the milieu of many of their poems, which attempt to transform quotidiana into something of enduring interest. The chief danger of this type of poetry is that the prevalence of so many poems about family members and friends results in a poetic environment that can resemble a vast, monotonous suburb. If most domestic poets seem indistinguishable from each other in their subject matter alone, then the situation of contemporary poetry becomes further muddled when this homogeneity is bolstered by a general complacency with language.

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