Over the course of four collections of poems, Alex Lemon has become known for his kinetic voice and sense of the dark absurd. Now this electrifying poet moves in a new direction—with a book-length sequence at once intensely vulnerable and thoroughly of our moment.
Populated by visions and ghosts, Another Last Day follows its speaker on a search through a natural landscape turned on its edge, the landscape of today’s America. In these poems, the moments of an ordinary day are rendered in raw, nearly hallucinatory detail: Ants drunk on cherry-red hummingbird nectar. An ambulance rushing into the distance. Endless rain. And, stranger: A dog carrying a hand in its mouth. An emergency room filled with moans. A place where reality and dreams merge, where “the dead refuse to be left / underground.”
When Lemon’s speaker invites us “behind my closed eyes,” it is into the vision of a speaker so plugged into the livingness of this world that he is tossed to the edge of living itself. And yet, in his poems, this openness is never just painful. “the world is a terrible place,” he writes, “but I want to last forever // clinging to its teeth.”