Monday, November 28, 2011

PANIC ATTACK, USA by Nate Slawson


YesYes Books, 2011. To say too much about Nate Slawson’s PANIC ATTACK, USA is to fail at matching its beauty and energy. I will be brief and trust you, to read this awesome book.

This book punched me in my face-heart (you have one too) and I liked it. In love indiscriminately with joy and hurt, these poems feel deeply—Slawson’s speaker (Slawson himself, or otherwise) knows that sometimes beauty is a sledgehammer to the knees, but still can’t seem to look away:

“call me Ponyboy and I’ll bleed all my blood for you
I am committed to that & fucking amen.”

And from one of my favorites, O SHOTGUN:

“In my chest are coalveins.
You have the blackest eyes
I have ever seen & your flowers
smell devastating. Like one
hundred rabbits in love
with magnolia blossoms.”

Just when it begins to feel like love isn’t enough, this book keeps believing in “all the ways a slow song / could undress you,” no matter the terror that nakedness and solitude brings. 

PANIC ATTACK, USA makes me believe in believing. Being alive is important, and these poems chronicle a very amazing part of how it is equal parts pain, and sheer ecstasy. I am trying to be as emphatic as possible here on the internet in text. You'll love this book!

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