The debut collection of poems by Conor Bracken, winner of the 2017 Frost Place Chapbook Competition
The poems of Henry Kissinger, Mon Amour manage to construct a Kissinger who is both a radioactive archetype for white patriarchal sociopathy and as tangible as a liver-spotted hand. Kissinger is translated to us by speaker-as-middle-man holding the tyrant’s “x-rays to the moon’s blue light,” as boy toy, apologist, and victim, disfigured by his dance with devil, anti-heroic in his collusion with tyranny with just a whiff of gallantry in his willingness to kiss and tell. These poems churn the guts and delight the senses, the language precise, juicy, with a napalm-shimmer, the diction creating a self-deluded truth teller, “striving towards a whiteness that’s translucent,” in turns absurd, hilarious, entertaining, post-traumatic, and terribly sad, drenched in a sort of post-coital shame and yet an unquenchable, awful desire. “As American/…As the cruise missile in his living room/we take turns straddling like a mustang,” Conor Bracken has written the perfect collection for our time.