The Fly In the Bottle

Brian Tierney

Tim called to say Fentanyl Jen from Tacony-Palmyrajumped off the bridgebut lived? my god . . . And I said god,but I meant I hopeour corpses keepthe trees awake forever—And suddenly, at the thought, memory presents itselflike a yellow lightyou gotta run through to beatthe cross-street trafficnear The Dreaming Ant Diner,where in a cabbage-print dress and John Lennon shadesone summer,in chemical distress,Jen stabbed with her forkher two sunny yolks,saying angels, my angels, over and over, as if to coerce the eggsbackinto their caves,as if to euthanize what might have beenher soul,by which I mean her mind,each time piercing what'd already deflated.

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Brian Tierney is the author of Rise and Float, which was selected by Randall Mann as the winner of the 20-2021 Jake Adam York Prize.

Rise and Float, which won the Jake Adam York Prize, pushes back against depression and grief with only the tools at a poet’s disposal: patience, insight and the beauty of a thought perfectly expressed.”
—Ron Charles, Washington Post’s Book World newsletter

“Lyrical and arresting . . . Tierney’s Rise and Float, about forging ahead despite the burdens that weigh the spirit down, is perhaps the most honest representation of trying to survive in the current state of the world.”
—Rigoberto González, San Francisco Chronicle

“Masterful . . . The language, gorgeous in its precision, remains as its own testament of perseverance . . . This is a book that rises despite what it knows, celebrates the float of disbelief that poetic language allows, and mourns the precise place on the linoleum where those mirages fail.”
—Noah Warren, Los Angeles Review of Books

“Nothing short of exquisite . . . ​​It has been a long time since I’ve read a debut collection that stirred me as deeply as Rise and Float, and I highly anticipate more poems of beauty and truth from this poet.”
—Katya Buresh, Chicago Review of Books

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