Contradiction

Contradiction Front CoverContradiction by Michael Boer
ISBN: 978-1-6886-0817-7

Available now.

Find it on GoodReads.com:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51295761-contradiction

Find it via Amazon.com (where you can Look Inside for a free preview): https://www.amazon.com/dp/1688608176

Find it via Powells.com:
https://www.powells.com/book/contradiction-9781688608177

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https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=30560150747

If you are not comfortable ordering online, your favorite local bookstore may be able to find it for you with the ISBN number shown above. Our research suggests that if they are willing to order it, you may be asked to pay in advance and the price may be set to absorb their shipping costs. Fair enough.

Reading a poem makes a performer of you. You cast your own voices for the writer’s first- and third-person characters, deciding, almost unthinkingly, whether the writer’s second-person is yourself or someone else. Not always effortlessly, you sort out the scenes, images, sequences, quotations, and metaphors. You evaluate each of the writer’s assertions, accepting them into or rejecting them from the framework of your own thoughts. Poetry is a kind of source code, requiring little math but rich in context, grammar, and logical subroutines, which your mind may assemble into the mesh of your own library of eclectic grammar, logic, and contradictions.

Your reading is thus uniquely your own collaboration with the writer.

A Three-Sided Single

We have released a digital 3-sided single that includes a song by Blunt Objects (from the album Safe at Home?) plus two remixes.

Stream it from Bandcamp:

https://onewe.bandcamp.com/album/uncharted-digital-single

For better audio, you can download it in various audio formats to play on the device of your choice. Choose Buy Digital Album and pay $0 (FREE). Then burn it or whatever you need to do to listen to it on your high fidelity speakers (or in some cases perhaps your grandparents’ hi-fi speakers). It is a single, so set the controls for 45 RPM. Not too loud; play it safe.

Continue reading

Read This Thing

Testing thing.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program of pandemic updates, civil unrest disinformation, and other memes of the moment to bring you this thing.

This is from the 2018 book, There There by Tommy Orange (which we realize some of you are reading right now, or have read recently, or plan to read soon, because it was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, a PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award, etc., none of which it won but losers have stories to tell):

This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, “It’s too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings.” And then someone else on board says something like, “But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d’oeuvres.” At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who’d been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can’t get to him soon enough, or they don’t even try, and the yacht’s speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered.

If you were fortunate enough to be born into a family whose ancestors directly benefited from genocide and/or slavery, maybe you think the more you don’t know, the more innocent you can stay, which is a good incentive to not find out, to not look too deep, to walk carefully around the sleeping tiger. Look no further than your last name. Follow it back and you might find your line paved with gold, or beset with traps.

We will end this There There thing there, but before you return to your normal social media programing, let me say, just for the record, my fairly recent ancestors did directly benefit from genocide and/or slavery. My father used to find arrow heads and broken stone hammers in our family’s corn fields, from which the figurative gold and hors d’oeuvres sprung forth. I myself put in many days of professional stone hunting and gathering in those fields, though I never had the privilege of finding an arrow head. Still, perhaps like you, I have had, fairly or not, a share in other privileges, though it does not stop me from looking into things.

What Readers & Writers Say re: Contradiction

Contradiction by Michael Boer

Contradiction by Michael Boer
ISBN: 978-1-6886-0817-7
Available now.

Comments appear here with the permission of each writer.

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David Allan Evans / http://davidallanevans.com/

I like the variety of poetry and pictures in Contradiction by Michael Boer. I like a lot of these poems. Being an offshoot of the William Carlos Williams school as a writer and reader of poetry, I especially like the shorter pieces. For instance, The Unforgetting, The Unimpaired Wind, Weathering Time, Exit by the Front Door at this Stop, Father’s Mirror, Motel Smoke Alarms. The ones I like the very best are Cord Theory and BYO Animal for DIY Meatpacking, especially since I worked in a packing house and observed pigs, etc. The book shows a man with great curiosity about the world and life, and I like that. This comes out so well in his tendency to write list poems. He’s really good at that!

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Jack Garvey / https://buskersdelight.home.blog/author/buskersdelight/ / https://www.amazon.com/Jack-Garvey/e/B00K4EHUZK

Michael Boer’s Contradiction has a commanding look, cover & page layout. Well done, a weight well worth the wait! Love The Mission page. It’s a masque! (No matter how 21st century the word “tweet” is.) The phrase “speak for itself” will conjure up Robert Mueller. Trigger page is also inspired.

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Arthur Lee Jacobson / http://www.arthurleej.com/ / https://www.amazon.com/Arthur-Lee-Jacobson/e/B001KCBXN0

Contradiction, Michael Boer’s new book, shows an admirable combination of his analytic mind with an artistic, humorous liberal arts approach. It is highly personal, its moods varying just like his music does. It reveals his strong power of observation and sensitive reflection. While reading, at various times I thought: award-worthy, baffling, beautiful phrasing, moving, puzzling, and wow. It is not what an editor would call a balanced or consistent book, but serves as an indirect partial autobiography, or at least introduction to how he thinks. Well done!

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Even the Dead Dream

IMG_5779-halloween-sPrairie churchyard, 2017
Lake County, South Dakota (photo by Michael Boer)

Even the Dead Dream

Stained glass window sills,
heaped with flies and bees
who will hum no more.

I found his marker
shaded by a spruce growing
beside his parents’ graves.

Awakening from melancholia,
I recalled loaning him my watch
for a year’s final midnight countdown.

Then I saw Joseph
driving his blue beetle
toward the nearby crossroads

Seeing someone
stopped by those graves,
he swerved between shallow ditches.

He pulled a U-ey over the harrowed gravel
and screeched to a dusty halt
beside the stone prairie church.

How you been, Joe?
“Busy. Real busy. A crazy lady keeps
pestering me over some Santeria bullshit.”

Joe. I want my watch back.
Says he, scowling, “I still need it.
Until midnight, in Medellín.”

Joe. You once told me,
“I wish I could just sleep
through my whole life.”

He remembers, nodding, “Yeah,
but even the dead cannot
stay asleep long enough for me.”

Joe. What kind of shit is that?
“This? I put this on in the dark!
Does it look more like a shroud than a shirt?”

Any sharing of something as private as a dream
is imperfect, not like the way churchyard occupants
comfortably share their practice made-perfect unconsciousness.

Excerpted from Contradiction by Michael Boer, a collection of poetry, prose, and photographs, coming this winter.