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James Davis’s Club Q is clever, often laugh-out-loud funny, and always meticulous: both within the poems formal considerations and the book’s arrangement as a whole. Davis is a master of linguistic foraging, arranging his sonic and syntactical finds for the reader to devour. Within his poems, comedy, intelligence, and despair are often synonymous, and wordplay is always on the menu.
The universe in Chris George’s The Occultation (Surveyor Books, 2021) is dark and nihilistic but also filled with morbid humor, and even redemption. A missing disabled mother leads her caretaker daughter on a barefoot late-night odyssey in “The Suicide,” an alcoholic finds solace and comfort in an abandoned flying-saucer house on a stormy night in “A Small Good Place;” these stories wind their way through human suffering and frailty.
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