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Brand New Spacesuit

Brand New Spacesuit

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Brand New Spacesuit

193 Seiten
2 Stunden
Apr 21, 2020


  • Brand New Space Suit is John Gallaher’s third full-length collection of poetry. His poetry collection, The Little Book of Guesses (Four Way Books, 2007), was the recipient of the Levis Poetry Prize. He is also the co-author of two collections, Your Father on the Train of Ghosts with G.C. Waldrep and Ghost with Kristina Marie Darling.

  • Many of the poems in this collection focus on Gallaher’s autobiographical experience nursing aging parents. They often touch on his father’s series of heart attacks and his mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s.

  • Gallaher’s collection references science fiction and fantasy touchstones such as The X-Files, Star Trek, and Marvel superheroes, which gives the collection a broader range of appeal.

  • Brand New Spacesuit will be published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, which features in several poems in the collection that reflect on NASA’s lunar exploration program.

  • Strong regional appeal in the American Midwest.
  • Herausgeber:
    Apr 21, 2020

    Über den Autor

    John Gallaher’s most recent poetry collection, In A Landscape was published by BOA Editions in 2014. He is also the author, together with G.C. Waldrep, of Your Father on the Train of Ghosts (BOA, 2011), which was written in collaboration almost completely through email. His poetry collection, The Little Book of Guesses (Four Way Books, 2007), was the recipient of the Levis Poetry Prize. Gallaher is currently the co-editor of The Laurel Review and The Akron Series in Contemporary Poetics, and is an assistant professor of English at Northwest Missouri State. He lives in Maryville, MO.

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    Brand New Spacesuit - John Gallaher



    You approach the world from a great distance. "If I should

    love you more, you are to say, then I shall love you more."

    Such things are elemental, like how the failures of a country

    are to be repeated, because there’s a center to things.

    Approach the backyard as if the backyard were a sudden

    appearance. Approach the car as if you were one half

    of a medallion broken in antiquity by a mystical king

    to stop some great, evil power, and you’re forever now in search

    of your missing twin. "A car should never have this power

    over one, you are to say, then I shall love it more." The road

    is a kicked up veil of fallen leaves, and this incantation

    you’re in, where you’re driving, and your thoughts unspool

    beneath you. There are these two ideas, that one grows

    through nurture and that one grows through strife.

    They’re in identical boxes on a shelf in your garage.

    Say you’re thinking, "There are no things here but in the ideas

    of things," wanting to bring back the 20th century

    from a hole in the yard. You’re a king of things. "Bring back

    that time when my child was six," you ask the road

    ahead of you, driveway after driveway. For love,

    there are things you must say. The stripe in the road glistens.

    It rises in front of you, floating in perfect orange, the best orange

    you’ve ever seen, an orange that says, "You’ll never see

    orange this orange again. This will be the definition of orange

    that will continually rise before you and behind you

    down the road. Unbroken." I will love you more.


    That’s a good one, the idea of the moon having a stem and somehow

    stealing you, whoever you are, kind of like Persephone or Orpheus,

    portrayed or alluded to in countless forms of art and popular culture

    including poetry, film, opera, music, and painting. And it kind of fits

    my mood this morning, something vaguely cartoonish and devoid

    of real gravitas, but still, a kind of realism, even so. And the area

    around is the void, outer space, nothing, because explaining things

    is never as interesting as wanting them, the desire to know, set against

    a backdrop of black velvet and rhinestones. Let’s say that you wake up

    one day and realize you don’t remember anything that happened

    yesterday. Maybe for five minutes or so. And for those five minutes

    you’re thinking, as I was thinking this morning, that this is it. Car keys.

    The word for when you really want something and work for it.

    Your dog’s name. There are not enough blank pages for all this

    forgetting, like debris falling back to earth, you and yours hiding

    in the underbrush with hopes of your own, of rescue or escape.

    When you don’t remember why you’re hiding in the underbrush,

    you’ve been hiding in the underbrush forever. This whole other

    existence leaps forward in possibility. And then the five minutes

    are up, and it’s oh yeah, eggs, Saturday. Some day that was.

    A chemist once told me luminol was her favorite color. It glows

    a beautiful greenish-blue when it comes into contact with blood

    by reacting to the iron in hemoglobin, looking a bit like the sky

    this morning. It’s a kind of truth of blue, that uncovers, that

    remembers. It’s used by investigators to detect blood at crime scenes

    where no blood is visible. That’s what I need, the beautiful blue

    morning of remembering, as there are so many things to forget,

    to lose, and in so many different ways. But even so, one can be wrong

    about the past, and deduce from error, but still be right about

    the future or the present. And when you don’t remember what day

    it is, happy birthday. Despite all our best efforts, there’s a wolf

    on the horizon making a movie of your approach, and it’s

    a shipwreck playing across me as I’m pouring sugar into my cup.


    I have also lost much. I’m your summer boy, I would have said.

    I believe in a lot of things, I would have said. The movie of my life,

    for instance. The one we always talk about, the one with Kevin Bacon

    and Audrey Hepburn playing the guardians of Hell. We proposed it

    as Elegy for the Next President, and the blink comparator slides

    came back with forms of building something within which we can place

    ourselves. Everything’s always new in this way. The writer of Ecclesiastes

    proved it with a camel and a cigarette. We were thinking of Canada

    again, and people on balconies doing cocaine. It was their summer

    movie. They could see the orbit of Uranus pulled in several directions,

    from priests to killers, to all the slivers of soap I should have saved

    and maybe carved into a sculpture of a Glock 19 and then covered

    in black shoe polish to help in my daring escape. This palace we all want

    to step from. The clouds are soft and the stars reach out to be held.

    But don’t we all. It’s just another climbing wall where what goes on there

    can’t hear you, going from a god to Mickey Mouse’s dog, which seems

    small candles now, just a little joke on the fate of gods. You’ve got

    to keep the faith, friend. Say the dog is the dog, the new dog, and the dog

    is a footrest. Say the dog is three ships whose argument of perihelion

    liberates around 90 degrees. We’ll let it slide into the white translucent

    Yankee style we picture ourselves tracing that makes us feel better

    for where we’ve been and what we’ve done. We’ll say the dog falls

    from moon to moon covered in summer. It’s our summer dog. Maybe

    that’s what we were talking about anyway with each other in that crowded

    bar when we couldn’t hear ourselves. A: Would you like a drink? B:

    Think about what? And so on, with the bouncers working the door,

    long bored with weather and vomit, tugging away at the frayed end

    of the 20th century. And then everything is red ropes. Like Pluto,

    just some ghost you walk through unaware, a cold patch. And you’ve

    no explanation why you feel so happy, free once again to mingle,

    suddenly the largest thing you don’t need, that you’ll never need.


    At what age is it when we realize we know much about diminished

    things? I want it to be a real age. A real answer. And I don’t want it

    to be diminished things, either. I want a list. I don’t want it to be

    different for everyone. As the news makes a meaning, the landscape

    makes a meaning, this moment, and this life, all the thises there are,

    a unity of experience that forms a layer of solace over the truth

    of diminished things, is a way to say I’ve passed through the veil.

    But it keeps not happening. It’s veils all the way down. "Just

    remember, Duckies, the ineffable says, everybody gets in rows."

    And that’s supposed to be a version of an answer, saying we

    have this common experience, misery’s company, but for most of us

    it’s just company, a world of company, where I/we want more stories

    of going to the supermarket, buying something, then going home

    unmolested. Stories with beginnings, middles, and ends, where nothing

    inevitable happens, nothing irrevocable. I want to call it "hope

    for the future," a glorious hopefulness of orthodontist appointments,

    soccer practice (4:15–5:30 Tuesdays and Thursdays), the promises

    solid things bring. And I want color, bright, impossible color.

    Jolly Rancher Green, Jolly Rancher Red, because color is happiness.

    It’s first day, steeping in it, knowing it, the first one to open

    the package, the brand new smell of getting to the future a bit ahead

    of everyone else, because when else is it, that any of us is at our most

    something. I spend a lot of time asking that. I’d sit with each one of you

    and ask, and have follow-up questions. I’m sure I’d have follow-up

    questions, as for each glorious hopefulness contender, each best,

    happiest, there’s some fundamental thing that hasn’t figured in yet,

    or has figured in differently than we thought, where we miscounted

    the monthly car sales or the milk order, all of which goes into the mix

    of phrases like "I didn’t know it then, but that was the best time

    in my life." So if you were back there again, you’d need to bring

    all the rest of your life with you, and if you did that, you’d drown,

    or it would seem bland, unremarkable. And I’d hate to see

    that happen to the most hopeful time in my life, when we

    were at our best, standing in the full sun on the back porch.


    And then there are those days (Look! The sun still rises!)

    where you have this feeling you want to love something,

    or you want to say or do something positive, but you can’t think

    of anything, so that the moment is lost in this search

    for the what. The spirit is willing but the subject has failed

    to show up. There’s this go fish quality to wandering,

    but only if one is in the open mood, where whatever one

    happens upon next is OK. There are many ways to make sense.

    This morning, I’m remembering fondly the days browsing

    card catalogues, as I imagine the landfills they now inhabit,

    because browsing’s a kind of happiness, finding out new things,

    purposeful stumbling. How many books are there with Elvis

    in the title? 740,934 in our database. The solidity

    of the card catalogue, oh happy furniture, proof of our need

    for proof. To cultivate happiness, one must remember six things

    while browsing, I’ve read. And I’m sure it’s going to be

    the sort of thing you can print off or clip out, maybe crochet

    into inspirational framed art for the refrigerator and send

    to the

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