Glass Is Really a Liquid by Bruce Covey
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What People are Saying about Glass Is Really a Liquid:
Material (as in’ concrete’: glassine — O liquid!) but abstract, say Miro in dialogue with Picasso. That is they’re pretty painterly, the poems, with images that flow past one changing into words . . . pixels . . . serifs. Domestic, lyric, amorous — well why not? “Cracked, however, like the liberty bell.” One can actually read them and be there, just reading, seeing (like you’re really there, really really there. You get to stay yourself.) Steinlike (as in glasses), stained. Stunning. His best book yet.
Glass Is Really a Liquid implicates more than one common substance in its continuous, polymath-eyed onslaught of negotiations of weird space: he unmasks hidden kitchens, pistols in napkins, a lurking way of “progressive sleep.” Gestures and feelings in these indexed syntaxes turn to colors, shapes, ideas. “It’s the new year, so everyone drives in the wrong direction,” a poem intones just before its speaker gets shot at by a helicopter “ammo pulsing 3 or 4 or 5 or blue.” In the hypercolor wake of all its gunfire, left wide open, the book still carries on, magnetizing in the same breath as its syllabic destruction a new Bruce Covey skinsuit around the reader’s body, equal parts Holy Shit! and Ouch!
In Glass Is Really a Liquid, Bruce Covey presents puzzles in poetry so perfectly constructed so that we may come to find that things are not always as they seem. The ways in which he uncovers and recovers discovery and loss allow us to see as he sees and, like him, "hope the clouds have / Answers hope the clouds have." To read these poems is to embark on a "a beautiful visit, a beautiful injection" of playful artifice but also heartbreaking insight. These poems are so much about this world; they are so much about the next one, too, where "all the little / Animals might congregate after." It's sure to be a lovely affair because Bruce has taken us there.
Bruce Covey’s Glass Is Really a Liquid begins in the aftermath of a catastrophic loss, in a vivid state of stunnedness not unlike that of shock. Poignantly and precisely, Covey catalogs the indefinable aftermath, of what remains for the thwarted left-behind: “a cardboard city full of weeds...” or “stale bread...” [with] “...Marshmallow Fluff on it.” These are poems are expansive, passionate, instinctual, intelligent and funny—crafted as tightly as ski mask.
—Jennifer L. Knox
"Three ice tea & the wave of the future" is a fair example of the things to be found in Bruce Covey's "Restaurant," and throughout his poetry. Or how about "buttonholes / & boxes, stomachs & teeth, awaiting / Fulfillment from a good marketing plan"? Everything in the universe is getting along with each other, or maybe not, but somehow moving forward. "Touch it & burn, but be saved."