by Matthew Lippman
Published by Typecast Publishing, 10/06/2010
ISBN-13 (cloth): 978-0-984-49610-5
Size: 6.5 x 8
I am not going to linger long on Matthew Lippman’s new poetry collection Â Monkey Bars because Typecast Publishing is also publishing my book of poetry. There is a fancy phrase for what I am not avoiding here by reviewing this book. Do you know what that fancy phrase is, children? It’s called “a conflict of interest.” It’s true, look it up. Learn it. Know it. Live it.
Now that we understand one another, you need to own and read Lippman’s book for the following three reasons:
1. Go ahead, accuse me of hyperbole, but Typecast makes some of the most beautiful artifacts in the small press universe. Presented in a really interesting flush-cut hardback edition designed and illustrated by the genius at Â Firecracker Press, if Â this tasty little morsel rests in line of sight at home or work, you will appear to all of your book nerd friends much, much cooler than you actually are.
2. There are many, many important people telling you to own this book. Take me for instance. Note how important I am. Listen to what I am telling you. Listen to Tony Hoagland who says Â “[these] poems fly straight into the center of trouble and joy of the moment because they are unafraid of dying. . .” Listen to Matthew Dickman who says “Lippman’s work guides us through loss and suffering as well as ecstatic joys and the angelic swells of the living body…[these] poems are the work of the heart; beating, bruised and electric.” Or what about Juan Felipe Herrera who calls Lippman a major poet? Will you listen to that? Check out the book Â trailer! Â Check out Typecast editor Jen Woods’ amazing Poet/Rockstar Manifesto! Do you hear the ringing of silver trumpets?! Follow the sound.
3. In all seriousness, Lippman’s book is a blast. The poems in Â Monkey Bars scream out a father’s panic in a world without bees, but plenty of pharmacologically-induced calm, where Warren Buffet has plenty to be happy about and nearly everybody else is f@#$ed. Â And yet, by the end of Monkey Bars, Lippman offers the reader some odd sense of the human capacity for bravery, awe and grace in the face of the most absurd and hopeless circumstances. There’s no easy redemption in these poems, but Lippman’s rowdy poetics are so approachable, so much fun to read, you won’t even feel the wringer. Read the poem Marriage Pants if you don’t believe me. You can accuse me of bias all you want, I really liked this book.
And that’s all I’m going to say.