by Brian Simoneau
These are poems of accrual, of sum and mathematically sung song.
Praise for River Bound:
“No detail is too small for Simoneau’s gaze, which takes each nail and board and beam surrounding it into account with a carpenter’s knack for shape, structure, precision. Through humor and elegiac storytelling, River Boundchronicles the ups and downs of blue-collar American life in Lowell, Massachusetts, and elsewhere—creating a simultaneously beautiful and apocalyptic vision of the future in which ‘the moon slides behind the empty mills / as we wait, watching for stars to come down.'” –Dorianne Laux
“These powerful, diary-like meditations are a sort of psychic conditioning for the speaker—and there is a lot of conditioning to do: death of the father, death of the New England mill town—the only certainty, uncertainty. The lyricism is superb, and subtle, but lyric it is. What better place to discover song than in your own hometown? Brian Simoneau has done just that in River Bound. This is impressive, intense poetry.” –Arthur Smith
“Brian Simoneau is a rarity in his generation for the way he combines precision of feeling with an idiom that is taut, musical, & full of linguistic subtlety. Flashy verbal poets seem a little overheated, a little foolish, next to his intelligent restraint. His affection for his native ground—the old New England mill towns he grew up in—is dry-eyed, rueful, and hardearned. His father’s gas station, the mill workers of the 19th century, & the often hardscrabble life lived in these towns today inform but don’t limit his vision of how ‘Life passes at the speed of grief.’ He has written as fine a first book as you could hope to read.” –Tom Sleigh