New out this month is the first chapbook from literary magazine The Esthetic Apostle: Absences: A Sequence by John A. Griffin. Accompanied by collages by artist Martine Mooijenkind, the chapbook explores forms of loss. In “Relic,” the speaker notes: “It is November and a concussed fog hangs above the lake,” and this fog seems to settle over the rest of the pieces within the collection, somber and haunted by absences.
From the publisher: “Absences addresses the themes of loss of youth, loss of innocence, isolation, separation, exile, death, the absence of familiarity, affection, and above all the loss or absence of love. The sequence meditates on the natural world but finds little comfort there. There are no idyllic, romantic refuges from the self, and pathetic fallacies remain just that: instead of providing a balm to the sick heart, the dales of Arcady merely accentuate its angst. The poems find fitting motifs in poetic echoes and these are channeled into the poems’ movement to harmonize their rhythms and oscillations and to achieve a kind of unsettling but restorative equipoise. The sequence resonates with allusions to classical mythology, Virginia Woolf, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Julio Cortazar, Franz Kafka, Johann Georg Hamann, Paul Celan, and Bruno Schulz, and tries to weave its patchwork aesthetic by drawing on their disparate but unified themes. Ultimately, the sequence is a celebration of life, even if life’s great peroration is death, and even if we all die the same death over and over again.”
Visit the publisher’s website to pick up your copy.