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The Banjo Clock

For Karen Garthe, poetry is a Molotov cocktail. A master of radical invention, Garthe combines brio of conception with linguistic virtuosity, bringing language to new life from the inside at breakneck speed. "The Banjo Clock", her second collection, cultivates a luxuriant sensibility even as it interrupts poetic continuity with cuts, ironies, sharp wit, and wild recklessness. In poems that consider poetry itself, Garthe writes about preparing the medium, the ink, "the motion of new utility". She then turns to America's psychic maladies and the need to rehabilitate our democracy, now floundering in the glare of TV's blue depressive light.
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Table of Contents

Fanta grape Rid the kitchen Ikebana Gorge Ink Runs REHAB (we want grace walls) National sky Buckle up, Sweetie Piranesi under The Keystone of A Eternal Youth PARTITA Flat-out Mars To Dolls Big as Clara Bear Dolly Loves the Ocean Little Soulyard, 1 Island of the Judge who kept us State Fair First surge Cable my Liebestod Frail of a year Midwest soldiering PARTITA Little Soulyard, 2 Sadly, I noticed Andrew, all bespoke The Porticos of Toulouse Porn Guy Idee Fixe Champagne Blondes/Little Scrap of Irony The Challenge 59th Street Station Sweet Thing Theology To the Cinematographer High Nouns Shepherd Speak Revenue mantra Solace Ritual The Dark Dauphine A Letter from Home To Karen Dalton Call Sleeping The Chiffon Artist Beauty Mandarin Character, YELLO CROWN Water Quip Poem on Velvet & Fire's Extra Fun djinns in orbit 14 lines 2 hands writing Blue Hour Great Expectations Great North Primitive Story Bread Alone Poem on Velvet, Carnegie Hall Floating Island Red Sleep WIDOW on a train Outside's Baby Krishna crawls to bliss The Banjo Clock Acknowledgments Notes

About the Author

Karen Garthe is the author of Frayed escort, which won the 2005 Colorado Prize.


"Karen Garthe writes some of the most expert-and tightly-wound-lyric poems you'll ever read... If discussions of the sort Karen Garthe is performing in The Banjo Clock ... don't really interest you, that's okay: Just stop reading poetry right now, pick up your favorite beach novella, and forget the world's oldest form of literary currency still exists in any appreciable volume... What Garthe is offering today's poetry readers is a reason to read poetry rather than prose." -- Seth Abramson Huffington Post

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