On High

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    • Abstract:
      All songs have skin, / all skin has holes. On High, Neil Surkan's debut collection of poetry, searches for spirits in myriad places. Wondering how, why, and when to act with a conscience, speakers try out steep hikes, strong drugs, and earnest meditations as they attempt to make meaning in a divided and distracting world. Careful and tense, On High balances on all kinds of tightrope-like lines: a trout fisher revels after riding a moose, a buzzed lover speculates about human connection, new condo owners toast from balcony to balcony, a young woman kicks a hornet's nest into her hometown library's erotica/poetry/religion section. Reaching for the sprigs of our shared humanity, Surkan's poems offer courage and compassion in violent times. As the speaker in'The Branch Breaker'muses,'sarcasm won't dissolve our enemies.'On High is a book for the contemporary moment.
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