Zero Summer by Andrew Demcak
|Zero Summer||Andrew Demcak||BlazeVOX [books]|
Demcak continues to blossom as a poet of note with ZERO SUMMER, his newest collection of pieces of imagination married to craftsmanship. These poems define lust, desire, onanism, finding and feeling and losing love affairs, childhood longings and memories - the sum of a sensual being. Demcak's range is from the lyrical ('Vincent V. in 1993') to the raw ('Venus in Furs'). He offers the rare opportunity to share the struggles of writing poetry, as in 'Automated Response to Mark Strand': '…the poem is a permission/given away,'- and delves into current events - tragedies, disease, social injustices, world events that seem planets away until he stirs them into spells for the reader. Imagery such as this, and the countless other examples begging to be quoted from these fifty seven poems, create such rich atmospheres of beauty and urgency, and thoughts without horizon, that they seem to be coming from countless fertile minds instead of just one. Andrew Demcak has the gift and we are all richer for it.”
"ZERO SUMMER's skinny, sticky, cock-swaggering poems take 'bloody comfort' in Andrew Demcak's lubricated, literary longing, the bourbon 'sweet / with unimagined grief,' the very words 'laboring / over / the soup-bones of literature.' This is a book that will get under your fingernails."
“Spiralling electrically around a theme of longing, Demcak's newest work moves outward in arcs—from the sensual self, in erotic and familial relationship with the other ("my skin listening // still no accompanist: I can't kiss me!" )—to the writing and artistic self, the creative pursuit of spirit through form (God "an unflawed blackberry…rosettes of icing…the murdered and the living brightness")—to this spirit in the world and in other people ("O divine architect! / O quick-drying cement!"). His language is playful, charged, articulate and highly crafted—always with an introspective sense of humor and form. Full of music from Ellington to Schoenberg, full of heroes from Noah to Ginsberg, Demcak's poems are attuned to both absurdity and pathos, those extremes that lead the poet and the reader towards their "unimaginable" Zero Summer.”
Andrew Demcak is the author of the award-winning poetry collection, Catching Tigers in Red Weather (2007), which was favorably reviewed by Grady Harp in Oranges & Sardines . His writing has been published in print and on-line in many very fine literary journals, popular magazines, and anthologies. His poems, including "Young Man With iPod" (Poetry Midwest, #13), are taught at Ohio State University as part of both its English 110.02 class, "The Genius and the Madman," and in its "American Poetry Since 1945" class. He currently works as a librarian for Oakland Public Library, in Oakland, CA. Visit Andrew at www.andrewdemcak.com