Poetry. In lyrical hard-driving lines as layered and tonally complex as the desert itself, Waggener investigates our modern anxiety: the wastes and emptiness that cause it, the beauty and connection that rescue us from it. The smoky threat of Armageddon flavors the simplest of details here, yet the voice promises hope to even the most jaded post-modern reader. Says Susan Aizenberg, "'Retrace the paths. Name what / you can...' sings one of the luminous chorus of voices—obsessive, grieving, sometimes darkly funny—animating Miles Waggener's newest collection, and such is the soul-making work at the heart of these evocative, masterfully crafted lyrics." Nils Michals beckons us into "a world of boundless deserts, cracked air conditioners, weedy lots, and the 'duplicating hells / of gambling machines,' an ever-present film of ochre dust reminding us that nothing can remain untouchable forever." He adds, "Amid all the disquiet arrives a beautiful but haunting anti-song, an 'instruction manual for electronics no one owns anymore' in which we 'meet ourselves again as strangers,' that self crackling at the end of a live wire. Few poets today are willing to embrace this unease, to say make of this a home. Once here, SUPERSTITION FREEWAY is all too happy to invite us in. It doesn't take long before these poems compel us to say something in return, something we want desperately to be true, something which has us knocking on wood as soon as the words escape our lips."
Miles Waggener is the author of the poetry collections Phoenix Suites (winner of the Washington Prize), Sky Harbor, and Desert Center, and the chapbooks Portents Aside, Afterlives, The Jeremiads, and Arterial Roads. He lives in Omaha, where he teaches writing at The University of Nebraska Omaha.Author City: OMAHA, NE USA