And How to End It
by Brian Clements

ISBN: 978-0-9792999-4-0
Perfect Bound, $14.00
Publication Date: December 2008
5 x 8 inches, 122 pages

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The prose poems in Brian Clements’s And How to End It spin with the urgency of a society, a globe, a universe, careening toward a crisis point. “The worst will happen,” Clements warns us, and images of rubble, of death, of Guantanamo, populate these pages. Still, the masterful ways that Clements shapes language defies the nihilism his writing might portend; amidst the uncomfortable images and difficult questions, these prose poems confound and sparkle with precision, juxtaposition, moments of beauty. In Clements’s dangerous-yet-alluring world, politics can’t be separated from art can’t be separated from language can’t be separated from the small, hopeful ways of living our lives.

Praise for Brian Clements's previous books:

“[Essays Against Ruin] is a book of poems that thinks—that essays—against ruin, that meditates on the myriad relationships between nature and history. These well-crafted poems waken the depths and brush up against the mysterious realms of the unspoken, the unspeakable world.”  –Ed Hirsch

Reading Essays Against Ruin, I realize, once again, we need to treasure those who can rethink what we think the world is, those who insist on the equality among reality, imagination, and the connection between the two, the shore from which meaning weighs anchor. With its uncanny and uplifting reversals of logic, its lyrical couplings of disjunctures, and its suffusions of palpable absences, Essays forms, not a text, but a bowl-shaped palm we can drink from.” –Jack Myers

From And How to End It...

The Story of a Story

You want to break out into a bang of sparks, but every time the story is told makes the next time harder—crisis of faith, crisis of name. What doesn’t get said is too big to see, and that’s the way it goes; the words don’t come because they have to be somewhere else. What you really think gets left in the trash, Xed out.

It was never a choice; the landscape plotted you. You have to come from somewhere, and we can’t all be from Italy.

But there are two other rooms, by most reports: one full of verbs and the other full of nouns. When you close your eyes and step into the adjectival dark, the adverbial forest of property deeds and family trees rustles under each step. Then you’re on the lawn again, slightly less drunk, at the other end of a narrative you never knew began, gawking at your hands like they’re someone else’s, staring at your reflection in the leaf-swell: putting it all together, keeping it all apart.

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