Le Spleen de Poughkeepsie
University of Akron Press
Winner of the 2010 Akron Poetry Prize, Le Spleen de Poughkeepsie is
a tender anti-epic, a grunge-tinged love song to America's benighted post-industrial heartland.
Harmon's Poughkeepsie shimmers just beyond the borders of banal recognition.
If you're not part of the problem, / you're part of the lengthening / tragedy,
Harmon writes in an introductory pastoral, seeking out
the stray / detours and workarounds of the secret / city inside the more obvious one
¦ on the outskirts of the absurd / attention to the material life.
Poughkeepsie is that city of the heart where no one can look at anyone else
the noise of beauty
is a cop's bullet polishing off a
five dollars takes you anywhere in this town / except out of it.
Joshua Harmon is the author of Scape (poems, 2009) and Quinnehtukqut (a novel, 2007), and the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. His poetry has appeared in Absent, Agni, Colorado Review, Copper Nickel, Massachusetts Review, Mid-American Review, The Offending Adam, Sentence, Typo, and Volt.