this shouldn't be beautiful but it was and it was all i had so i drew it

this-shouldn't-be-beautiful-final-cover.jpg
this-shouldn't-be-beautiful-final-cover.jpg

this shouldn't be beautiful but it was and it was all i had so i drew it

14.95

Keegan lester's this shouldn't be beautiful but it was and it was all i had so i drew it  was selected by Mary Ruefle for the 2016 Slope Editions Prize.

Unapologetically cosmic in its scope yet always attentive to the tiniest particles of earthling experience, Keegan Lester’s all-stops- out debut induces the most meaningful kind of vertigo—one that breaks the spell of habit, sends you reeling, then leaves you radically re-attuned to the world we live in. That world, as Lester presents it, is governed by invisible forces—“we don’t choose as much as we think we do in this life,” he writes—from the pull of the moon, wind, and molecular biology to the pressures of history, personal memory, actual ghosts, angels, and the will of other people. The sensibility at play in this shouldn’t be beautiful… perceives all of the above, and with uncommon acuity. It is akin to that of “the tinkers / & carnie sideshows” who alone can tell “the world’s melting”; it feels “the tectonics of things”; it intuits how “unicorns & cowboys are much alive in our DNA” and that “humans are divinity plus movement.” Heart-rooted in West Virginia but itinerant in its limbs, this shouldn’t be beautiful… is riddled with insight, full of America, made of dazzling cadences, and graced by a “perpetual openness” like that which Emerson ascribes to the Transcendentalist, along with a belief “in inspiration, and in ecstasy.” Keegan Lester is just the kind of poet we need right now—and this is inspired, ecstatic poetry.

—Timothy Donnelly

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