Chris McCreary / [ neüro / mäntic ]
6″ X 9″ / 70 pages / ISBN: 978-1-940092-08-9 / $13.99
The control in Chris McCreary’s new lyrics is exquisite & subtle, like the calming voice of the ER physician knowing that she must calm the patient long enough to get them to surgery. Underneath is blood & guts, much thrashing & just possibly some bone fragments that will later seem to be “left over” after all the suturing is done & tied off in a perfect bow. Why else call a children’s hospital CHOP?
“What I know wreaks havoc upon what I want,” writes E.M. Cioran, and Chris McCreary has the details for such an I. He even has a television. If you made it here via the 70’s and 80’s, you’ll see and hear a lot that’s familiar in this book, but the poems herein will also change the way you see the ways you’ve changed.
Chris McCreary’s [ neüro / mäntic ] is both futuristic and nostalgic, a divinatory playlist that time travels between pop culture and poetics, everyday experience and poststructuralism, vulnerability and “the bulletproof glass of literary theory,” swift irony and deep mysticism. The tension in these poems centers on the variability of time, enacting how poetry can complicate binaries such as Romantic and Post-Avant poetics or subvert ordinary notions of past, present, and future where, instead, “In an extended cameo, Gertrude Stein will be playing us all.” In its thematic permissiveness, this collection quantum jumps between poems that examine poetics and critique culture through science fiction and iconic music to poems that nimbly investigate their own multidimensionality: “Ipso go/wing the facts when a door/opens a door/that opens a/door that/opens.” McCreary’s poems can be read as an infinite regress of these doors but doors we see through: “This is windows/into could-is.” The poet asks: “Couldyou/wouldyou teleport.” Yes. And, most crucially, in these poems we do.