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By Matthew Schwartz

From The Sky contained in the Shaking Tree

What you feel
reveals you.
for the sustenance
inclined to a source,
enamored of singularity,
quickly right here and quickly
gone, shadow from which
the body's braveness comes.
apparently stumbling.
I slapped one on my leg.
Its blood glowed.
Blessings for the palms follows a variety of speakers—often disabled audio system, who by no means as soon as determine themselves as gadgets of criticism or self-pity—through the haunted dreamscape of “normalcy.” certainly, goals are non-stop presences during this strangely refined and chic debut assortment that juxtaposes actual situations with the big inside lifetime of the mind's eye. the topics of Blessings for the fingers are actual and imagined confrontations—and reconciliations—between family, neighbors, strangers, and animals. Matthew Schwartz’s quasi-autobiographical verse complicates and clarifies the feelings ready simply beneath the styles and expectancies of the audio system’ sunlight lives, the place anger, pleasure, corporeality, and mortality all appear to collide. For Schwartz, poetry is a sleight of hand that retains the reader guessing via approximately imperceptible shifts among current imaginative and prescient and absent fact. Blessings for the Hands is a lyric reckoning of the strain among the lifestyles we're given and the existence we're made up our minds to lead.
Blessings for the Hands is emotionally powerful and imaginatively wild, special, deeply relocating, with out an ort of self-pity, and pervaded via ‘compassion all the way down to your fingertips’ (which Chekhov acknowledged is ‘the simply strategy’ either to jot down and to live). This perspective of imaginative and prescient is sharp adequate to unify a lot disparate material. The poems are transparent and musical and therefore a excitement to learn and reread regardless of their gravity. I imagine this can be lasting work.”—Michael Ryan

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She laughs when she says I could probably eat anything. Whenever I’m quiet for too long, she starts to worry, but she tries not to, stops herself sometimes from having to rescue me, having to presume some fear of mine, and name it. Afterwards, she says she thought I’d learned to talk better at parties, in large groups. I ask her if I can just be quiet without her worrying, and she asks, when do you think I worry? Doesn’t she remember the party when she mentioned to ten people that after twenty-five, the body stops producing new bone, and everyone should really eat more calcium?

43 • 3. Water’s cloudy grit, and the pause just before its wished-for fall— turning away, I hold both worlds as their orbits tumble and the ground slips out, bright with allowance and power. • 44 • Blessings At the surprise party, we all sat clapping dumbly when you came in unsurprised. I fumbled in a cabinet, your voice in the other room saying I know we are of the same nature. Three birds with clipped wings try to glide up the dizzy staircase. Claws rattle the banister. Downstairs, a blackbird rips the basement insulation.

Doesn’t strive. Every one of her, of me. for Maya Katz • 21 • At Family Parties, My Mother is Endlessly Social She wants to seem unbelievably light— wherever joy comes from, she wants to say she can let it come, and forget about perfecting her life. The fact that we’re all together can forgive her intrusions, make them casual half-jokes: her younger sister’s terrible ex-husband, the stink of her cigarettes, her boyfriend who decided, again, not to be there, or her brother’s obsession with work, his crude humor.

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