Where to Buy:
mclennan, rob. Sound/Chest. rob mclennan's blog, June 2015.
Coffey, Dan. Blurbs Taking Surroundings. Real Pants, May 2015.
How many ways are there to break and be broken down? At the bottom of Sound/Chest, there's always one more: these poems fray, stick, starve, erode. They're sad poems braced for further sadness, small brinks, short falls, shorings up; they seek sustenance rather than certainty. To sound is to hear how deep something goes, to wait for an echo of touch to tell you, this is where the water stops. We don't call what's under the water "land," but we might call it knowledge; we might call it persistence; we might call it patience. At the bottom of Sound/Chest, the next thing we turn over might be the thing we need.
In these poems, Amish Trivedi gives us the "surreal" as the new normal, all the mind’s dated catalogue awash in the rising waters of the present. In the barely off-stage catastrophe sending ripples through this book, what we cling to is as strange as what we seek to avoid.
The library is flooded, the words made "surplus." The slash in the title of Amish Trivedi’s Sound/Chest is also echoed in the sudden line-breaks that gives the otherwise conversational tone a jittery feeling. "There/was some talk/of electrical outlets and role playing": An amazing surrealist montage as failed stand-up joke or an occult dating show about Abu Ghraib? From the farcical to the sublime: these poems keep babbling until they’ve told us just about everything we did and did not want to know about ourselves.