I am the dead, who, you take care of me by Anthony McCann
Wave Books, November 2023
The poems in Anthony McCann’s I am the dead, who, you take care of me are acutely aware of the ways in which language communes the living and the dead. Following the poet’s recent prose work on the historical and ecological conflicts of the American West, these poems are necrosocial biomes where the living play dead and the dead bite back. Here we find that the past is “a perfect copy of the land./ But with all the panic of the meat.” By situating himself among lyric poets such as Jack Spicer, John Ashbery, and Amiri Baraka, McCann reveals how poetry can be both an unnerving and enlivening sort of devotion. “I want life—but for the living” he writes. By turns playful, mournful, and darkly humorous, these works ultimately leave us emboldened in their wake.
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