Inside the Compulsion to Wonder Lurks the Will to Survive

Dobby Gibson

Once awake, I tend to like it.A puddle can recognize me. Then I look upand I'm as anonymous as the sky.And yet, in my hands, this terrible orb glows.The ships, it reports, can now sailstraight through the Arctic, filthy bearsclinging to shriveling rafts of ice.Tell me the truth, what does anyone careinside the barber shop this morningwhere everyone wants the regular again,combs swimming in little blue aquariums.What if this isn't late capitalism, but early?One idea is to set the clocks aheadone hour so we're closer to knowinghow it turns out. Another is the Roman ides,or the 72of Japan. Mist starts to linger.Great rains sometimes fall.The Buddhists have a word for it,but the moment it's defined,the thing itself vanishes.The more we ask of this worldrises up through us, like an evaporation.When I asked you what day it was,you said the day after yesterday.No matter where we move the glass vase,it leaves a ring.

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Dobby Gibson is the author of Little Glass Planet; Polar, which won the Alice James Award; Skirmish; and It Becomes You. His poetry has appeared in Fence, New England Review, and Ploughshares, among others. He lives in St. Paul.

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“In Little Glass Planet, Dobby Gibson considers a range of objects and systems — from angels and umbrellas to drones and capitalism. Each piece highlights unexpected delights. . . . Masterful with imagery and analogy, . . . Gibson’s writing is smart and crisp as he crafts a love letter to the world.”
The Washington Post

“Exuberant, electric, and frank; [Little Glass Planet] is a love letter, despite — despite the bleakness of late capitalism, the complicated pull of our many devices, our often terrifying political sphere. There is still so much to love in this world, and Gibson recognizes it in small moments of shared humanity and pockets of the natural world. In Little Glass Planet, he invites us to celebrate with him.”
BuzzFeed Books

“There’s a great deal of love in this poetry—love for other human beings, for those spinning diamonds, and for the future a post-Trump America might still bring, to Texas and to Minnesota. It’s a kind of poetry every generation may need.”
—Stephanie Burt, Rain Taxi Review of Books

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