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Cracked Altimeter by Joe Milford

Price: $16.00

Cracked Altimeter Joe Milford BlazeVOX [books]

Bring your parachute and your appreciation for wonder because Joe Milford pilots us on a breathtakingly perilous journey where “[e]very world is a womb.” So why is the altimeter cracked? Maybe because we have been asked to fly through unchartered altitudes with these “protracted/aerial maneuvers,” and ultimately we have been asked to climb and climb until we get to the bottom. He ushers us into the hushed worlds and the howling worlds—the scorched places where we love and cry and dream and laugh and ache and love. Joe Milford is a mad minstrel-pilot whose songs are compassionate and crazy—gracious and aerobatic—always lucidly enigmatic. Be prepared to fly through “a rain of flaming dictionaries.”  Soar through this book. It is crackingly beautiful.

—Patrick Lawler, author of Feeding the Fear of the Earth

Joe Milford’s Cracked Altimeter is fantastic. Each line is packed with such intense vividness and rhythm. It’s overwhelming. Milford’s labyrinthine constructions of language tear your head off and make you taste the colors of the imagery, leaving you begging for more. One of the best books of contemporary poetry I’ve read in a long time.

—Connor Stratman, author of Invisible Entrances and First Testament

Here are multitudes. In Joe Milford’s hell-bent Cracked Altimeter, “All the names of Heaven/become a universal phonetic.” I’m grateful for his effusiveness; these hexed poems dispense grace enough to make even the warped and wayward begin to see again, and to believe. And it’s as if T. Roethke has been invited to participate in the first decade of this century. Marking transcendence is more of a challenge than ever—and also endless play and fun for Milford and his readers. “No one knows I have this psychic ray gun,” he writes. But of course we do. One in the holster, one in his belt, and another, just in case, under his pillow.

—Steve Langan, author of Meet Me at the Happy Bar


Brimming with poems that fiercely tackle the subject of writing poems, Joe Milford’s Cracked Altimeter refuses to be pinned down as meta, to be pinned down by a simple conceit.  This is a young man’s life work, obsessed with interconnectedness, with human acts as basic as walking and fucking, as complicated as love and writing, taking its cues from Twain and Whitman (who, as the poet states in a pitch perfect moment, ‘No one reads enough [of]’).  This is a book of desire and transcendence, obsessed by, and never afraid of, its mysteries, that turns toward those mysteries with language both base and grand: ‘To be your gift and unwrap you as well,’ says Milford, ‘Got some home-made Indian-ink safety pin tattoos,’ Milford says; ‘I took her under the pines.’  Joe Milford is the best kind of poet: one in love with language and life.

—Emily Van Duyne

Joe Milford might just be the space-age love child of Walt Whitman and Christopher Smart. And this book is his Big Bang of poetry.  Words fly.  Sentences explode. The pages pulsate with the kind of energy unleashed at the birth of the universe. Milford promises to “make a sofa out of a supernova and drink quasar cocktails.” So take a seat, pour a drink and get ready for a sound and light show of life-lust, exacting observation, bizarro flights of ecstasy, boastfulness, pathos and love – narrated in a voice like no other. Milford is an amazed and amazing poet.  Here is his extraordinary “light-speed sprint.” Follow him “with slow eyes/deciphering the blurs.”

—Tom Healy, author of What the Right Hand Knows

Joseph Victor Milford currently resides in balmy rural Georgia with his beautiful wife, daughter, and step-daughter, where he teaches full-time at Georgia Military College.  Joe's work has been published or is forthcoming in the following journals: The Brooklyn Review, The Kennesaw Review, The Wild Goose Review, VOLT, Ourobouros Review, etc. His poem, “Janitor Moonlighting” was recently nominated for a Best of the Web and a Pushcart Prize. He is currently the host of the Joe Milford Poetry Show: and, with his wife Chenelle Milford, he edits the literary journal SCYTHE.

Book Information

· Paperback: 176 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 978-1-934289-78-5

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