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This is the “Age of the Bullet,” Matthew Lippman writes in Mesmerizingly Sadly Beautiful, days in which “bullets sprout other bullets in the bullet garden” and a caricature of a onesie-wearing president sucking on a pacifier appears on the cover of a national magazine. Lippman’s poems are wildly inventive yet grounded in the 21st-century dailyness of parenting and dinner parties and Dunkin Donuts, all of which serve as launch pads into perennial questions of mercy and trust. “I don’t care what you say about this city,” Lippman writes in the title poem whose images recall New York City in the days following 9/11: “We sit down together on the sidewalk / and we hold one another.” These are brash, beautiful poems, big-hearted in their tilt toward sentimentality and their yearning for something more, something better.
About the Author
Matthew Lippman’s collection Mesmerizingly Sadly Beautiful won the Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry. He is the author of five other poetry collections—A Little Gut Magic, American Chew, Salami Jew, Monkey Bars, and The New Year of Yellow.
WINNER OF THE FOUR WAY BOOKS LEVIS PRIZE IN POETRY
“Mesmerizingly Sadly Beautiful, humming with antic energy, takes on issues of sex, politics, race, religion, and poetry, all subjects our mothers warned us not to bring up at a dinner party. At times dreamily or nightmarishly surreal, at others so realistic we laugh or cringe in recognition. It’s outrageously American, crass, funny, fast talking, unbound, and yes, sadly beautiful.”
—Dorianne Laux, judge