A Crash of Rhinos

Poems by Paisley Rekdal


"'Forget safety. Tell me more about accident,' says Paisley Rekdal, and that might well be her ars poetica. The poems in A Crash of Rhinos are smart, funny, and sexy—beat that for a trifecta. But Rekdal is not after mere sensation. She pursues the seeming randomness of life for the knowledge it has to offer: 'That night in question—its arson, its accident— / it was the first moment / I knew how to love you.'"
—Andrew Hudgins

"In A Crash of Rhinos reason and the uncensored disclosures of excited speech coexist with astonishing intensity. The American language seems suddenly, single-handedly revitalized. The poems are passionate, sexual, demonic. They are ceaselessly inventive. They are beautiful."
—Mark Strand, former Poet Laureate of the United States

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In these quizzically probing and provocative poems, atoms and torture, tattoos and laundromats, mug shots, the theory of light, and such personalities as Joe Louis and Bruce Lee join in shaping a simultaneously personal and historical narrative of love, family, and desire. The tension between the public and the private saturates these poems with a breathless energy that carries the reader through Rekdal’s self-aware depiction of American culture and romance, complete with Harlequin romance novels and an account of her parents’ courtship. Though Rekdal delights in turning traditional images of love upside down, what she finally offers is a grateful and graceful view of humanity, which convinces us that, as she says in “Convocation”: “Nothing is a single moment . . . / No private event lacks history.”
Page count: 88 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5


List price: $19.95

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Paisley Rekdal teaches at the University of Wyoming.