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Book Notes: Christopher Salerno’s Minimum Heroic

Favorite lines:

where stage blood or sunlight

fills the hundreds of clear jellyfish splayed along the beach

(from “In the Golden Age of Counterfeiting)


Each night on the terrace where crows pick locks,

I paint my little crow gold, and it sings my new favorite

part and we go for a spin in a a good gear

(from “Whirl”)


The dog takes the leash in his mouth. A bottle rocket lay in the snow. A canary lay in the snow. I dreamt my father, uncle, brother were throwing pies at a bear. But there’s no pie in the ivy. No snowball in the sentence. No teeth coming down.

(from “IV. Exit [If the Blind Need Nudging:]”)

The one about the jellyfish is particularly right. I walk by jellyfish every morning on the Potomac. They’re all smudged up on the beach with that weird reddish brain. It looks like they were just tossed there like junk.  I will read more of this when I can.

Filed under: Book Notes

About the Author

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Joe Hall is the author of five books of poetry, including Someone's Utopia (2018) and Fugue & Strike (forthcoming). His poems, reviews, and scholarship have appeared in Poetry Daily, The Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, Postcolonial Studies, Peach Mag,, PEN America Blog, Poetry Northwest, Ethel Zine, Gulf Coast, Best Buds! Collective, and Eighteenth-Century Fiction. He has taught poetry workshops for teachers, teens, and workers through Just Buffalo and the WNYCOSH Worker Center.

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