Feathery Wood Fiend

Matthew Rohrer

I found youplaying a violinin the forestthe Great Lakeswere almost emptyI walked outwith my nephewsto the middleof Lake Huronduring the recessionthe gantrieswere terribly sadplaying a songwith the windthe useless lighthousescost one dollarto feel themswaying all aloneexcept one ghoststill feeling usefullighting the lamps

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Matthew Rohrer is the author of The Sky Contains the Plans (Wave Books, 2020), The Others (Wave Books, 2017), which was the winner of the 2017 Believer Book Award, Surrounded by Friends (Wave Books, 2015), Destroyer and Preserver (Wave Books, 2011), A Plate of Chicken (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009), Rise Up (Wave Books, 2007) and A Green Light (Verse Press, 2004), which was shortlisted for the 2005 Griffin Poetry Prize. He is also the author of Satellite (Verse Press, 2001), and co-author, with Joshua Beckman, of Nice Hat. Thanks. (Verse Press, 2002), and the audio CD Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. He has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered and The Next Big Thing. His first book, A Hummock in the Malookas was selected for the National Poetry Series by Mary Oliver in 1994. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and teaches at NYU.


"Even through the clamor of war, garbage trucks, stolen cars, and crying babies, Rohrer maintains a alluring tranquility, a Taoist chill to temper a casualness that might otherwise get flagged as too hip. Li Po and Rumi drink jugs of wine, 'Wu Wei' presides calmly over the lovely closing poem that takes his name, and clouds drift from one poem to the next."
—Michael Brodeur, The Boston Globe

"Rohrer's frequently beautiful, brief poems are rooted in specific images that initially seem unrelated—but which ultimately form a unity as meditations on how the ordinary distractions of everyday life can be seen as the source for almost everything important in life."
—Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly

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