Gamaun, The Prophetic One

The Boy Whose Hands Were Birds

Poetry by Roy Seeger

Winner of the 2008 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award.
Published by Main Street Rag Publishing Company (Charlotte, NC), 2008.


What poets have written about Roy Seeger’s The Boy Whose Hands Were Birds

I can view existence as obsession, an ordering of matter that persists over time. In that sense, these poems take shape around the father, insomnia, love, animals and their often brutal treatment by people, among other recurrent concerns. But Seeger’s interested in looking beneath the flesh of these ostensible subjects, at spirit and its transformations, as the title of the book implies. There is a quiet optimism to these poems, a product of Seeger’s awareness that “between the clay/& the syllable that breathes/what we make/alive” we are, as he points out, “little gods.” Where others see language as limiting, he understands language as that which allows a level of ontological choice. “And/what becomes/clear by daylight – it is/what we fear of ourselves/that gives us hope,/the terrible kind,/the kind that reminds us/we don’t have to be as we are.” This is an engaging first book.

–Bob Hicok (Author of This Clumsy Living)

Contemporary poetry right now seems given to extremes, either an arctic cool or a tropical frenzy. Roy Seeger’s first book has to it the heated core of stability–call it voice, call it persistence, call it identity always on the uptake. Whatever their comic masks or alter egos or ego-realities–Golem, the Wolfman, a slapstick duck, man-boy, boy-man, son vexed by father, insomniacal husband–the poems themselves sidestep ironic naiveté and turn towards what this considerable talent calls “inexperience”–the only honest starting point there is for endlessly renewable resolve. These poems instruct not so much by example as by mishap, jerry-rigged allegory, domestic fluke. The result: a poetry that is itself a credible way to live, uniquely.

–William Olsen (Author of Avenue of Vanishing)

For information on readings, review copies, etc. Email roydseeger at hotmail dot com, or manderini at hotmail dot com.


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