Poetry. The four conceptual poems in THE CATALOG OF BROKEN THINGS question identity in the face of disaster and change, emptiness and encounter. The poems break human experience into basic components: waking, sleeping, loss, memory, imagination, empathy, responsibility to oneself and others. THE CATALOG combines raw emotional intensity with surreal imagery to explore the notion of "story," a tool we use to create structure and meaning out of uncertainty."You are holding... although it looks normal... a deeply wild book. Molotkov has many voices that he wrangles into different forms... some punctuated, some not. With ease and beauty, he moves from tender, elegiac poems about a mother to a diaristic travelogue. THE CATALOG OF BROKEN THINGS is a book to read and re-read."—Carl Adamshick"Anatoly Molotkov's THE CATALOG OF BROKEN THINGS is a work of monumental genius and stark, terrible beauty. The poet explores the passage of time, the evolution of the self and society. Molotkov is wise enough to know, 'Our past is a / language only we / can speak, on a / good day, and / not fluently,' yet thankfully he tries and triumphs in this astounding collection. A must-read."—Shaindel Beers"The poems in THE CATALOG OF BROKEN THINGS offer a dismantling of more than boundaries—the poems are an annexation. They assume a lexicon larger than our individual meaning-boxes may hold, and the spilling into the Universal creates a new geography altogether. What percolates is an invention, an invitation, to experience mirrors and birthing as inward experimentations toward Self. The poet asserts that vision, the ways in which we allow ourselves to see, is an endless pursuit and entanglement: 'I see myself in the street, by the sea, in a cell, in a shell, in a joke, in an accident. / I see my life as a short story, as I prepare to vacate my body,/ my thoughts run after me. My brevity lasts, demands lifelong scrutiny.' When he tells us that 'Veins have no traffic lights, no stop signs. Blood laughs at high speeds. Life boils our white cells, runs from the scene of the accident. We are the eggs of our future selves,' we are compelled to pay close attention. The poems in the collection demand that we remain fiercely awake. Each section reflects an additional layer of how we may begin to understand journeys far inward so that we, ultimately, meet ourselves along the way."—Kelli Allen
author site José Angel Araguz @ Cincinnati ReviewLynleyShimat Lys @ Hawaii ReviewInterview with LynleyShimat Lys @ Hawaii ReviewMarty Saunders @ Raleigh ReviewJeff Whitney @ Cider Press ReviewAnthony DiMatteo @ Hunger Mountain
A. Molotkov's previous poetry collections are THE CATALOG OF BROKEN THINGS, Application of Shadows, and Synonyms for Silence. His memoir A Broken Russia Inside Me (Propertius) deals with growing up in the USSR and making a new life in America. Molotkov's collection of ten short stories, Interventions in Blood, is part of Hawai'i Review Issue 91. He co- edits The Inflectionist Review, and his past work includes visual art, experimental film and music.