Baby Steps in Doomsday Prepping
prose poems by Gerry LaFemina
978-1-948692-24-3 paper 18.95
978-1-948692-25-0 ebook 9.99
8×8, 72 pp.
Anyone in the mood to be enchanted by a collection of prose poems that celebrate the quotidian, the commonplace, the ordinary things of this world—those “dumb beautiful messengers,” as Walt Whitman famously referred to them in “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”? Then you best pick up a copy of Gerry LaFemina’s book Baby Steps in Doomsday Prepping…. [LaFemina offers a] kind of precision with language—making a “place” into a “thing” and conveying its feel, look, and impression on the soul with such searing clarity…. [his poems] enchant the senses and succeed in stopping time . . . so that we might examine the things of this world with love and intelligence, so that we might hear them speak to us again.
—Janet Lowery, editor of By the Light of a Neon Moon
Finding their music in syntactical rhythms and rhetorical strategies, LaFemina’s sentences are sharpened to delight the ear. He writes of a rock “the shape not of a valentine but of an animal heart,” and this collection is both a valentine to love’s many forms and also full of animal heart—vulnerable, earnest, unabashed. It’s also smart, sonic, and funny, as in this line from the poem, “My Afternoon with the Critics”: “I rode with Foucault in his Renault Reliant to watch porno with Adorno on a torn couch beside the icon of Lacan.” LaFemina is both intellectual and heart-forward, and these prose poems ride the line between forms like a pick up truck owning the entirety of road in a dark night, swerving toward art, music, literature, history, and gunning it through intersections with the lived life. As bleak as it gets, though, LaFemina knows, “the North Star just a lit window across the street” can get one through those restless nights.
—Laura McCullough, author of The Wild Night Dress
Gerry LaFemina’s poetry collections include The Story of Ash and Little Heretic. His essays on prosody, Palpable Magic, came out in 2015 and Kendall Hunt recently released his textbook, Composing Poetry: A Guide to Writing Poems and Thinking Lyrically. He teaches at Frostburg State University and in the Carlow University MFA Program. https://gerrylafemina.com