Starting from a poetic tradition of the everyday and of acute but transient attention, the work collected in HEROIC DOSE——long poems and serial poems, obsessive dialogues and distracted soliloquies——are, above all, poems chronicling the long journey of the self as intimate aporia, of biography that retreats from too much scrutiny into latent content, poems whose compensatory gesture, rather than beckoning backward to therapeutic restitution, shoos the poet forward through the reluctant pathos of narrative’s pyrrhic salvaging of lyric selfhood. Inlaid in these emergent, yet sturdy, narrative structures are auratic vignettes and things glimpsed, faltering elegies and bluffs at mythic self-understanding——anything that can make of entropy an elaborate show or delicate pretext——which glimmer amid desanctified travails like cave gems of Miltonic descent, “a way to hold some extra universe in your hand,” tendered ruefully, even greedily, for a moment of blessed caesura then set aside. If HEROIC DOSE connotes a desire to ingest too much, to risk density and saturation for the chance that lush patterns may emerge, it is also a lure for an impossible purgation, an approach by contraries to the moment when maximum tension gives way to a silence in which it’s possible to stop and notice a few things on the street.
Matt Longabucco is the author of M/W: AN ESSAY ON JEAN EUSTACHE'S LA MAMAN ET LA PUTAIN (Ugly Duckling Presse 2021). His chapbooks include Athens Notebook and The Sober Day. He lives in Brooklyn and teaches writing, innovative pedagogy, and critical theory at New York University and at Bard College's Institute for Writing and Thinking.