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The Weeds is a book of deserts, exiles, friendships, loves, militaristic hallucinations, and weeds. The poems, prose pieces, and collaborations that make up the collection ask questions (“Is this the right world / for our worldless curiosity?”), observe the mirage-like relationship between humans and their changing environment (“sparrows pecking black spots of gum”), and repel fears (“Adjectives, if they still exist, will include skulking, nasty, portable, blasted, cunning.”) A book of metamorphic lostness and visionary geography, Jared Stanley’s new book gets way down in “those inhuman gists, the weeds.”
‘What is it to live unrelentingly in an unrelenting landscape? Hot, harsh, sparse, these sharp poems conjure the quick wit and wry eye that such an environment requires. At times funny, always smart, Stanley’s poetry provides particularly difficult ecologies with their own ecopoetics, one that strikes a vivid vigilance, collapsing the distance between representation and presentation as it presents his sensually charged world in HD detail.’ —Cole Swensen
‘This volume joins the small, distinguished history of other poets, photographers and composers who have given significant measure to the heart and meaning of high desert music and thought: Harry Partch, Sam Shephard, Lewis Baltz, and Richard Barnes among them. These poems rip with concentrated eye and velocity through radiated landscapes whose mirages act like magnifying glasses among its inhabitants: rocks, weeds, animals, birds and our own species here alternatively enlarge, morph, retract, shimmer in the light, go dark. Stanley’s language, no matter how measured, creates an intense music that takes no prisoners but the living poem itself.’ —Stephen Vincent
‘Stanley’s voice whirrs like that of a reclusive mystic whose words jut up like weeds, among the pavement cracks and detritus, where nothing is out of reach, where strange mountaineers appear among raptor people, sucking on post-apocalyptic fumes. Through it all his poetry is a guide with a dim light, calling on your own intuition to lead you into and out of that place a poem holds when the mind goes. He does not engage in some witty banter with his contemporaries, but rather, his is the poetry of stalagmite and sediment, a curious sleuth among the Gaia scholars, his sharp probing eye telescoping from big history to the gnawing of a Bee’s wing, but perhaps most vital here is that his poems urge us to re-consider our man-made constructs of flora/ fauna/ naturaleza, which is to say, barriers and infinities. Weeds, in a thousand ways, will outlast this blurb…’ —Tim Z. Hernandez