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gowanus atropolis

gowanus atropolis by Julian T. Brolaski

Julian T. Brolaski's debut is a linguistic adventure, a series of narratives that blend high and low diction. The result is an inventive queering of language that offers a new urban lexicon, and requires an equally generous lens from its reader. Rodney Koeneke praises this quality, noting "the tongue hasn't sounded this flexed and full since Chaucer."

The poems in this collection attempt to reconcile the toxicity of New York City's waterways with the poet's own search for the pastoral. In "the wildering of manahatta" Brolaski writes


    river that flows both ways
    innumerable porpoises
    sweet air flooded
    w/ whippoorwills
    beauteous algonquinesque
    painfullest of mayberries
    homily reforested     roadfuckd
    ottering the mob

This book review originally appeared in American Poets, fall 2011, issue 41.

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