in dry air,
each pluck a dot,
strokes marked on silence
reaching into the dark.
Beauty is strict,
an echo, a wedge
of harmony, sudden,
broken—Who goes there?
An Algebra is an interwoven collection of eight sequences and sixteen individual poems, where images and phrases recur in new contexts, connecting and suspending thoughts, emotions and insights. By turns, the poems leap from the public realm of urban decay and outsourcing to the intimacies of family life, from a street mime to a haunting dream, from elegy to lyric evocation. Wholeness and brokenness intertwine in the book; glimpsed patterns and startling disjunctions drive its explorations.
An Algebra is a work of changing equivalents, a search for balance in a world of transformation and loss. It is a brilliantly constructed, moving book by a poet who has achieved a new level of imaginative expression and skill.
Praise for After the Splendid Display
“In his best work . . . conscience and craft fuse seamlessly, and the result is original and arresting."—The Nation