A Careful Contrition
by Gary Glauber
Here are crafted reminders of a world gone awry despite best intentions, discrete memories of humanity’s misguided longings. This narrative playbook implicates us in a collection of challenges and pain, questioning each wry surrender to time’s inevitable passage, transformed via poetry asking a careful contrition for all.
POETRY / General
ISBN: 978-1-951651-60-2 (print; softcover; perfect bound)
Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist and sportswriter. His poetry and fiction have garnered multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. An expansive variety of literary journals, magazines, and anthologies feature Glauber’s published poems and stories. This is his fourth full length poetry collection, joining Small Consolations (Aldrich Press), Worth the Candle (Five Oaks Press), and Rocky Landscape with Vagrants (Cyberwit); and two chapbooks, Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press) and The Covalence of Equanimity (SurVision Books), a winner of the 2019 James Tate International Poetry Prize. He continues to champion the underdog while negotiating life’s absurdities.
“‘Longing, we say, because desire is full / of endless distances.’ Robert Hass’s words come to mind as I read Gary Glauber’s new collection A Careful Contrition. Glauber’s poetry is filled with desire—desire longing to bridge the distances between lovers, between past and present, between hope and reality. His poem ‘Discipline’ ends with lines that could well be a motto for 2020 and beyond: ‘The challenge is to avoid the tears, / have fun with the daily horror. / Let’s have a good day if we can.’ My days are made better with an intelligent, passionate, book like A Careful Contrition in my hands.”
“The poems in A Careful Contrition sometimes wish they existed in a different world—a quieter place, less beset with loss and chaos. ‘I’m getting out of politics,’ one speaker says wistfully; we see the impossibility of such a promise. This is the life we have, and mortality is certain, so we’d better make the most of it. But how? Gary Glauber’s words in this collection show us the path: refuge can be found in art, in music, in poetry, and above all in our boundless capacity for love.”
“So many of the poems in A Careful Contrition seem to be predicting our current condition:
‘Trying to make sense / out of newfangled chaos.’ ‘Even a walk in the park / seems cursed with careful orchestration.’ But this book isn’t about the pandemic, or even our political divisions; rather, this is a carefully constructed collection of poems, some narrative, some love poems: ‘Our journey continues on unabated, / protected by the strength of our love, / as we circle the sun together.’ And some are songs to our planet, which seems so precarious, ‘messages / that foretell of a prescient world / where everything suddenly matters.’”
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